Morrisons to close loss-making Rugby supermarket - The Rugby Observer

Morrisons to close loss-making Rugby supermarket

Rugby Editorial 21st Jan, 2015 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016   0

MORRISONS plans to close its Rugby branch after it was revealed the store was making a loss.

The company said the Westway store was one of ten nationwide earmarked for closure, as it sacked its chief executive after posting disappointing Christmas trading figures.

A spokeswoman said: “We have looked extremely carefully at whether the store can be turned around but unfortunately we cannot see a way of making it viable and are therefore proposing its closure.

“We are consulting with colleagues and unions to reduce the risk of redundancies and we are looking at ways of redeploying colleagues around our business.”

Aftab Gaffar, managing director of town centre management company Rugby First, said he was disappointed, and hoped local staff would be redeployed.

He said: “Morrisons has made a national decision to close a number of stores which are no longer viable and unfortunately Rugby is one of these.

“The big four supermarkets are under increasing pressure from changes in consumer behaviour, with more people shopping online, home delivery and the popularity of the discount retailers and these closures are a reflection of this.

“Rugby town centre still offers an excellent choice of food retailers as well as a variety of other shops that cater for everyone’s needs.”

Joanne McGuinness, a spokeswoman for Usdaw (the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers), said it was devastating news for staff.

“We will now enter into full and meaningful consultation meetings on these proposals, where we will look closely at the company’s business case.

“Our priority is to maximise employment within Morrisons, seek redeployment opportunities for members and minimise compulsory redundancies.

“We will support, advise and represent our members throughout this period of uncertainty.”

Nationally, Morrisons recorded the worst results of the big supermarkets for the six week Christmas period, posting a 3.1 per cent drop in sales compared to the same period a year previously.

The company has not revealed a timetable for the proposed closure, nor how many Rugby employees will be affected. The ten UK stores to be closed employ a total of 409 staff.

Rival Tesco has also announced the impending closure of 43 branches across the UK – believed to mainly comprise smaller Tesco Metro stores – but has not yet revealed the locations affected.

A spokesman said: “Our first priority is to consult colleagues who are impacted by these changes and we will be speaking to them over the coming weeks.”


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