Morrisons closures hit home as central Bradford store shuts

About 700 jobs at risk as troubled chain shuts supermarket in home city and at Wigan, Boston, Stowmarket, Braintree, Tunbridge Wells and Hounslow

Morrisons is planning to shut its only store in the centre of Bradford, the supermarket’s home city, as part of a seven-store closure plan revealed earlier this week.

The closure of the store in Bradford’s Westgate with the loss of more than 80 jobs is a blow for the city which is attempting to rebuild itself after several years of difficulties.

Morrisons has also begun consultation with staff about the closure of stores in Wigan, Boston in Lincolnshire, Stowmarket in Suffolk, Braintree in Essex, Tunbridge Wells in Kent, and Hounslow, west London.

The stores are expected to close over the next few months.

Nearly 700 jobs are at risk as a result of the closures which were announced despite Morrisons achieving a surprise increase in sales over Christmas.

David Potts, the chief executive, said the supermarkets were unprofitable and he could not find a way to sufficiently improve performance.

The latest closures follow those of 21 supermarkets last year and the sale of Morrisons’ 140 convenience stores, known as M Local.

The Bradford Westgate store was opened in 1969, making it one of Morrisons earliest outlets.

The company previously considered closing the store six years ago but it was given a reprieve.

Morrisons said: “Regrettably we cannot see any improvement in the viability of the Westgate store and are proposing its closure. 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.

“This is not the outcome we wanted but we have to make difficult decisions to give the overall business the best chance of success.”


Sarah Butler

The GuardianTramp

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