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Jobs at risk as Asda announces it wants to close Newmarket store

PUBLISHED: 17:21 20 August 2018 | UPDATED: 09:10 21 August 2018

Plans are being drawn up to close the Asda store at Fordhall Retail Park in Newmarket.

Plans are being drawn up to close the Asda store at Fordhall Retail Park in Newmarket.

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Supermarket giant Asda has announced plans to close its Newmarket store, putting dozens of jobs at risk.

Supermarket giant Asda has announced plans to close its Newmarket store, putting dozens of jobs at risk.

The announcement comes just two weeks after the town lost its Marks and Spencer in the Guineas Shopping Centre, as tough trading conditions hit the national retail market hard.

On Sunday, 39 staff at the store in Fordhall Retail Park were told that Asda would be entering into a consultation process with them. The chain wants to close the store due to a continued under-performance and the fact that the store’s lease is due to expire.

Asda’s management team will be in consultation with staff over the next few weeks before coming to a final decision.

Asda Newmarket opened in 2011 and initially enjoyed strong levels of trading. However, the supermarket has said customer numbers and sales have continued to fall, and despite efforts by colleagues to improve performance, the store continues to underperform.

Anthony Hemmerdinger, senior vice president for operations at Asda, said: “Despite the very best efforts of our colleagues at our store in Newmarket the store sadly continues to underperform in a tough market.

“The store site has recently reached the expiry of its current lease and so it makes sense for us to consider its future.

“We never take the decision to consider closing a store lightly and appreciate that this is a difficult time for our impacted colleagues in the shop.

“We are now spending time listening to them and ensuring we explore all options before making a final decision.”

The GMB union was on site on Sunday to 35 members while they were informed of the proposal to close the store.

Keith Dixon, GMB regional organiser pointed out that it is a “difficult time” within retail and many retailers are tightening their belts to attempt to remain competitive.

“The proposal to close the Asda Newmarket will have a lasting effect upon the community and those members whom it impacts,” he said.

“GMB will be involved throughout the consultation process and will explore all avenues for the security of our members. I am confident that, if Asda were to go ahead with the proposal, GMB will be able to secure jobs for all affected members.”

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