England

Waitrose announces closure of four stores

waitrose trollies Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Staff could be offered the opportunity of staying within company partnership

Supermarket chain Waitrose is to close four of its stores with the loss of 124 jobs.

Stores in Caldicot, Monmouthshire, Ipswich and Shrewsbury in Shropshire will shut, while the Wolverhampton branch will be sold to Tesco.

The grocery chain said it had struggled to make them "profitable in the long-term" due to "challenging trading".

Staff at the three stores to close face redundancy and will now enter into consultations.

All 140 workers at the Wolverhampton site will transfer to Tesco as part of the sale. The store is expected to shut on 31 December, owners John Lewis Partnership said.

The Caldicot, Ipswich Corn Exchange and Shrewsbury stores will close on 6 December.

The closures are part of an ongoing review by the firm's estate which started in 2017.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Parent business John Lewis Partnership warned of possible supermarket branch closure in July

Staff could be offered the opportunity of staying within company, which could include transferring to other Waitrose stores or johnlewis.com, which is part of the group.

Berangere Michel, executive director of customer service for the John Lewis Partnership, said: "Closing any of our shops is always a last resort and is not a reflection on the dedication of our partners in Caldicot, Ipswich Corn Exchange, Shrewsbury and Wolverhampton.

"Sadly, we have not been able to find a way to make these shops profitable in the long-term, despite the hard work of everyone involved.

"Our priority now is the wellbeing and future of our partners in these shops."

John Lewis Partnership had said in July that it could close more of the supermarket's outlets as part of cost-saving measures.

Eight John Lewis retail sites have also previously been earmarked for closure putting 1,300 jobs at risk.

Follow BBC West Midlands on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Send your story ideas to: newsonline.westmidlands@bbc.co.uk

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites