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Shropshire's Waitrose stores escape the axe

By James Pugh | Shrewsbury | Business Picks | Published:

Shropshire's Waitrose stores have avoided the axe after the John Lewis Partnership warned over profits and said that it will close some branches.

Little Waitrose on Pride Hill in Shrewsbury

The group, which has seen tough trading on the high street takes its toll, is to close four Waitrose convenience shops and one small supermarket.

But the stores in Pride Hill in Shrewsbury, Newport, the Welcome Break service station at junction four of the M54 near Telford, and Wolverhampton are not on the list of closures.

The Little Waitrose store in Colmore Row, in the heart of Birmingham's business district, is to close.

The John Lewis Partnership said it does not expect to make a half year profit, while profits for the full year will come in "substantially" lower than last year.

It bemoaned "market uncertainty" and cited significant extra costs at the partnership as a result of "greater IT investment", which will be a driver of the profit decline.

Sir Charlie Mayfield, chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, said: "It is very important that we feel the jeopardy of what is happening right now.

"This isn't a blip, it is a major shift and it has a while to run."

Waitrose is expected to see profit growth and John Lewis a decline.

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The firm added: "It is widely acknowledged that the retail sector is going through a period of generational change and every retailer's response will be different. For the partnership, the focus is on greater differentiation – not scale.

"We have clear plans to build on our strengths and to sharpen our points of difference in both Waitrose and John Lewis."

Retailers have been hammered by rising costs and falling consumer confidence, with several high-profile casualties this year resulting in hundreds of store closures.

James Pugh

By James Pugh
@JamesP_Star

Shropshire Star Business and Farming Editor.

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