Leeds & West Yorkshire

Bradford-based Morrisons closing its Westgate store

An employee works on the fresh vegetable display at a Morrisons supermarket, Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Westgate store in Bradford, the city where Morrisons is based, is due to shut

Supermarket chain Morrisons is to close a store in the heart of the city where the firm is based.

Despite announcing better-than-expected sales over the Christmas period, it is to shut its Westgate store in the centre of Bradford.

The shop employs 90 people and was one of seven closures announced. The other locations had not been revealed.

Shopworkers' union Usdaw said the closures were "devastating news".

However, Morrisons said: "Regrettably we cannot see any improvement in the viability of the Westgate store.

"Many people will know that we have considered closing the store before and have instead decided to carry on trading, which is in part down to the hard work of our colleagues.

"Despite their dedication we have not seen the response from customers needed to secure the store's future."

Dropped from FTSE

Joanne McGuinness, of Usdaw, said: "This is devastating news for the staff in the seven stores that Morrisons intends to close.

"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 and keep as many stores open as possible, seek redeployment opportunities if a shop is closed and minimise compulsory redundancies."

Morrisons sold its 140 M Convenience stores at a loss of £30m in September 2015 and embarked on a cost-cutting and store closure programme.

Last year, Morrisons reported a 52% drop in annual profits to £345m - its worst results in eight years.

The firm also dropped out of the FTSE 100 list of the UK's biggest companies in December.

Morrisons maintained its profit forecast, saying it expected full year underlying profit in the region of £295m to £310m, before £60m of restructuring and store closure costs

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