Midlands Co-op to shut stores threatening 388 jobs

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Image caption The Midlands Co-op blamed a change in the retail business for the closure

Up to 388 jobs could be lost following the announcement that the Midlands Co-operative is to close its Fashion and Home department stores.

The company is looking to shut nine shops because of substantial losses.

But Midlands Co-op said it was investigating changing the use of some of the stores and hopes to offer jobs in other areas of the society.

It added that customer orders and gift vouchers would be honoured.

'Difficult decision'

The announcement affects department stores in Derby, Ilkeston and Chesterfield, in Derbyshire; Coalville and Wigston in Leicestershire; and Stafford.

The Bed Centre in Long Eaton, the Fashion and Home Store, West Bridgford, both Nottinghamshire, and the Home Store in Raunds, Northamptonshire will also close.

Martyn Cheatle, chief executive of the Midlands Co-op, blamed "changes in the retail sector" and the growth of online shopping for "substantial losses" over the last decade.

"Unfortunately, efforts to sell the business as a going concern have proved unsuccessful and after much consideration it is with great regret that the board of directors has taken this very difficult decision to close the Fashion and Home business," he said.

"Please be assured this decision was not taken lightly and was necessary to protect the long-term future and growth of the Society as a whole."

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