Hopes co-op jobs can be saved

Hopes were raised yesterday that 140 jobs at four Co-op department stores in East Anglia could be saved.The East of England Co-op announced two months ago that stores in Norwich and Yarmouth and two in Essex faced closure, with the staff entering a consultation period that could lead to redundancies.

Hopes were raised yesterday that 140 jobs at four Co-op department stores in East Anglia could be saved.

The East of England Co-op announced two months ago that stores in Norwich and Yarmouth and two in Essex faced closure, with the staff entering a consultation period that could lead to redundancies.

At the time, chief executive Richard Samson said the four stores had underperformed and had failed to make a profit.

“We don't wish to let our customers down but sadly these stores are no longer viable in their present formats,” he said.


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However, the society said yesterday that it was “pleased to announce that it is now in discussion with another retail operator with a view to that organisation taking over the four stores as a going concern, with the deal securing the future of the 140 employees involved”.

Alongside Norwich and Yarmouth, the stores on the market are in Clacton-on-Sea and Witham.

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Mr Samson said yesterday: “We are in negotiation with another retailer to take over the four department stores that are at risk.

“It is our hope that these negotiations will be successful and we will be able to secure the jobs of all our employees at the four stores concerned.”

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