Waitrose & Partners has exchanged contracts for the sale of four shops to other parties:
- Bromley (its shop located in Burnt Ash Lane, it will continue to trade from its Bromley shop in Masons Hill), South East London - 14,812ft²
- Oadby, Leicestershire - 24,467ft²
- Sandhurst, Berkshire - 18,259ft²
- Wollaton, Nottinghamshire - 22,500ft²
Bromley, Oadby and Wollaton are being acquired by Lidl; the party acquiring Sandhurst has asked not to be named at this time.
The retailer will also be closing a further three shops:
- Marlow, Buckinghamshire - 8,007ft²
- Stevenage, Hertfordshire - 14,506ft²
- Waterside, British Airways Headquarters, near Heathrow - 520ft²
The details of the arrangements are not yet finalised, but the expectation is that the shops will close in the autumn.
The 677 partners working at these shops will now enter a period of consultation and as part of this Waitrose & Partners will explore opportunities within the Partnership for those who wish to remain with the business.
Waitrose & Partners Director of shop trade Mark Gifford said: “We haven’t taken this decision lightly but we have to do what’s right for the business as a whole. Thanks to the hard work of all our Partners we’re making good progress and Waitrose & Partners is on track for profit growth this year but, despite the best efforts of everyone involved, we haven’t been able to find a way to make these shops profitable in the long term. Our priority now is the wellbeing and future of our partners in these shops. We will do everything we can to support them and will explore opportunities for anyone wishing to remain with the Partnership.”