Waitrose to lose 7 shops, risking 677 jobs
Written by Peter Walker
Waitrose & Partners has exchanged contracts for the sale of four shops to other parties, and is closing three others, with the 677 staff working there now entering a period of consultation over their jobs.
The shops to be sold are located in Bromley (Burnt Ash Lane); Oadby, Leicestershire; Sandhurst, Berkshire; and Wollaton, Nottinghamshire – with Lidl named as the buyer for all but the Sandhurst shop.
The retailer will also be closing its shops in Marlow, Buckinghamshire; Stevenage, Hertfordshire; and Waterside, near Heathrow.
The details of the arrangements are not yet finalised, but the expectation is that the shops will close in the autumn.
Waitrose director of shop trade Mark Gifford said: “We haven’t taken this decision lightly but we have to do what’s right for the business as a whole.
“Thanks to the hard work of all our partners we’re making good progress and Waitrose & Partners is on track for profit growth this year but, despite the best efforts of everyone involved, we haven’t been able to find a way to make these shops profitable in the long term.”
He added: “Our priority now is the wellbeing and future of our partners in these shops – we will do everything we can to support them and will explore opportunities for anyone wishing to remain with the partnership.”
The news follows Waitrose’s announcement in March that five of its stores had been sold to rival retailers in Torquay, Teignmouth, Ashbourne, Blaby and Barry – affecting 440 jobs.