Waitrose announces seven store closures

Supermarket chain Waitrose & Partners has exchanged contracts for the sale of four shops to other parties. The affected branches are:

-Bromley in south-east London, which measures 14,812sq ft (this is the Waitrose shop located in Burnt Ash Lane – Waitrose will continue to trade from its Bromley shop in Masons Hill)

-Oadby in Leicestershire (24,467sq ft)

-Wollaton in Nottinghamshire (22,500sq ft)

-Sandhurst in Berkshire (18,259sq ft)

Bromley, Oadby and Wollaton are being acquired by Lidl. The party acquiring Sandhurst has asked not to be named at this time.

Waitrose is also closing a further three shops:

-Marlow in Buckinghamshire (8,007sq ft)

-Stevenage in Hertfordshire (14,506sq ft)

-Waterside in British Airways Headquarters near Heathrow (520sq ft)

Details are not yet finalised, but the retailer expects the shops will close in the autumn. The 677 staff working at these shops will now enter a period of consultation and as part of this, Waitrose will explore opportunities within the John Lewis Partnership for those who wish to remain with the business. The John Lewis Partnership operates John Lewis & Partners department stores along with Waitrose & Partners supermarkets.

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 [staff] 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.

“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.”

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