Sainsbury's to axe cafe and install Argos branch in Norfolk store

Sainsbury's Great Yarmouth

Sainsbury's in Great Yarmouth is looking to shut its cafe and install an Argos. - Credit: Google Maps

Two standalone Argos stores in a coastal town are set to shut under a business shake-up.

The two stores in Great Yarmouth are among 420 set to close permanently in the next four years as Sainsbury's looks to relocate Argos shops to its supermarkets.

Argos Great Yarmouth

The Argos branch at the Pasteur Retail Park in Thamesfield Way, Great Yarmouth, is closing permanently. - Credit: Google Maps

It means the cafe at the St Nicholas Road store will not reopen and instead host an Argos concession.

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said it hoped to find new roles for those who would be losing their jobs.

A statement said: “We’re listening to our customers and reviewing the services we offer so that we can create the best possible experience in our stores.

“We are speaking to colleagues about our plans to open a new Argos store inside our Great Yarmouth Sainsbury’s.

"This will replace the cafe and we are proposing to close the Argos stores in Great Yarmouth town centre and retail park as a result of these proposals.

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“We understand this will be an unsettling time for the colleagues involved and we will support them in any way we can.

"This includes looking at redeployment opportunities and alternative roles available within the business.”

Argos Market Place

The branch of Argos in Great Yarmouth's Market Place will not be reopening. Instead Sainsbury's intends to host a branch in its St Nicholas Road store, shutting the cafe. - Credit: Google Maps

The company had earlier revealed plans to open 350 more Argos stores in Sainsbury’s and Argos collection points in supermarkets and convenience stores by March 2024.

The shake-up means closing around 420 standalone Argos branches,  cutting the total number to around 100 in the next two years.

Sainsbury's took over the homeware and electrical retailer famous for its little blue pens in 2016.

Before Tier 4 was imposed on Saturday (December 26) the Argos store on the Pasteur Retail Park had reopened but the one in the town centre had remained shut.

Great Yarmouth Market Place

The closure of Argos brings more retail gloom to the town centre with a string of shops already closing down. - Credit: Liz Coates

The closure announcement spells more retail gloom for the town centre, and particularly the east side of the Market Place with Edinburgh Woollen Mill, Ponden Home and Peacocks all closing.

In March the town lost Palmers Department Store - a high street staple for some 180 years - when Beales collapsed into administration.

It followed the closure of the town's Debenham's store in Market Gates as retail struggled even before the pandemic.