Waitrose closure ‘a big blow’ for Stevenage

Stevenage's Waitrose store is set for closure. Picture: Maya Derrick

Stevenage's Waitrose store is set for closure. Picture: Maya Derrick - Credit: Archant

The closure of Waitrose in Stevenage Old Town is a ‘big blow’ as the store has played ‘a crucial role in our community’, a Stevenage Borough Council spokesman has said.

Yesterday it was confirmed the supermarket in the High Street is set to close this autumn.

A spokesman for the borough council said: "We are sorry to learn that Waitrose has announced it will be closing its Stevenage store in the Old Town, despite being there for more than 41 years and playing a crucial role in our community.

"We understand this is a commercial decision. We will work with Waitrose to discuss alternative opportunities where possible and review options to relocate the Post Office, which may be affected by this announcement too.

"This is a big blow for Stevenage to lose such an established brand that has played a key role in our community over many years.

"Our thoughts remain with the Stevenage Waitrose staff during an unsettling time."

The 97 partners working at the shop will now enter a period of consultation.

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Waitrose & Partners' regional manager, Ashley Broad, said: "We have taken great pride in being part of the Stevenage community, so the sale of the shop is not something we take lightly, but have sadly not been able to find a way to make the shop commercially sustainable in the long-term."

The future of the Post Office currently housed in the Waitrose store is uncertain. A Post Office spokesman said they "will be working to identify a permanent solution to sustain Post Office services". He said: "We are committed to maintaining service in the area and will work hard to deliver this."