Durham Waitrose store to close
Over 100 jobs are going with the closure of Waitrose supermarket in Durham, which opened in November 2005. The 18,000 sq ft store, located in The Gates shopping centre, was one of five locations bought by Waitrose following Morrisons’ acquisition of Safeway.
In a press release the company said it did not make the decision lightly but blamed the closure on the store’s failure to make a profit. The store will be closing in the summer.
A spokesman for Waitrose said: “Where possible, suitable employment will be found for its 103 Durham partners – either at the new branch in Newcastle or elsewhere in the John Lewis Partnership. If this cannot be achieved, partners will receive a redundancy package and be given support to find alternative positions elsewhere.”
Mark Price, managing director of Waitrose, said: “The decision to close our Durham branch was not a decision we took lightly, and was made after long and careful consideration. We made a major investment in the Durham branch with every expectation that the shop would be successful. We understand the disappointment this decision will cause, however, the store has traded at a loss since we opened two years ago.”
Over the past 6 month period takings across all 187 Waitrose supermarkets jumped 7.5 per cent to £74.6m, lead mainly by an increase in sales of free-range and organic food.
While it may be the end for Durham’s Waitrose, rival supermarket giant Tesco are rumoured to have plans to create a new Tesco Express store on North Road.