Rugby’s Morrisons to close

The company has struggled against its competitors
The company has struggled against its competitors

Morrisons is set to close its loss-making Rugby store - one of ten around the country to face the axe.

No exact figures on job losses have yet been revealed but a spokesman for the supermarket chain confirmed there are around 400 workers at the stores affected.

The Bradford-based company, which is the UK’s fourth largest supermarket behind Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda, has suffered partly due to a price war with its main competitors in the last year.

The company’s Christmas profits, excluding fuel, were down 3.1 per cent on the previous 12 months and chief executive Dalton Philips left his role at the troubled supermarket after five years earlier this month.

Morrisons took over the site, previously occupied by Netto, in 2011.

A spokesman for the supermarket said: “We have looked extremely carefully at whether the store can be turned around but unfortunately we cannot see a way of making it viable.

“We are therefore proposing its closure. We are consulting with colleagues and unions to reduce the risk of redundancies and we are looking at ways of redeploying colleagues around our business.”

Aftab Gaffar, Rugby First managing director responsible for town centre management, said they were now waiting to hear when the retailer would be pulling the plug at its Rugby branch.

“I was very disappointed to hear of the store’s closure and hope that the local staff will be redeployed.

“Morrison’s has made a national decision to close a number of stores which are no longer viable and unfortunately Rugby is one of these. The big four supermarkets are under increasing pressure from changes in consumer behaviour, with more people shopping online, home delivery and the popularity of the discount retailers and these closures are a reflection of this.

“Rugby town centre still offers an excellent choice of food retailers as well as a variety of other shops that cater for everyone’s needs.”