October 23 2014 Latest news:
Monday, April 21, 2014
A Co-op supermarket that closed last month in the face of competition from a new Tesco that opened a few feet away from it has been converted into a new office for the company’s funeral service.
And the office, on Norwich Road, is due to have a chapel of rest dedicated in the near future.
The supermarket closed last month after its trade was hit by the opening of a new Tesco address store in the former Emperor Pub just before Christmas.
A spokeswoman for the East of England Co-op said the office was an addition to its existing funeral service – it would not replace existing offices in the town.
Staff had been transferred to the office from other locations – its opening had not immediately created any new jobs.
The new office is only a short distance away from another funeral directors’ – Hunnabell is based in an office next to the new Tesco Express store.
The conversion of the former pub into a small supermarket had prompted fears that it could threaten the viability of other stores in the local centre in Norwich Road – however the Co-op supermarket is the only building to have seen a change of use.
The conversion was controversial, but did not require planning permission in itself. However the borough did need to approve an extension which was needed to make it viable as a new supermarket before it was opened by the retail giant in early December after a five-month conversion programme at the site.