Co-operative stores in Boston sold off

A new Co-op food store is set to open in Wyberton after a planning appeal proved successful.
A new Co-op food store is set to open in Wyberton after a planning appeal proved successful.

Two town-centre Co-operative stores are being sold off to new owners, the company has confirmed.

Its shop on West Street in Boston will transfer to independent ownership after the new owner gets approval to become a Post Master – securing the future of the Post Office – while the Wide Bargate store has been sold to McColls as part of a wholesale purchase of a number of the company’s convenience stores.

According to a spokesman for the Co-operative, the stores in West Street and Wide Bargate ‘will continue to trade as convenience stores and staff will be transferred to the new operators’.

A Spokesperson for the Co-op said: “The decision to close any store is taken with the greatest reluctance, and is not in any way a reflection on the hard work and commitment of colleagues, who have been informed.”

They added: “We would like to thank our customers for their support over the years.”

However, the company did note that the sale of these two stores ‘aligns with their approach of having a proactive property programme in place to support its long-term growth strategy’.

They said the company is continuing to acquire food stores that ‘fulfil our criteria of right range and right location’.

The company aims to have 100 new stores open this year and in subsequent years and says its aim over the medium to longer term is ‘to grow both our physical store presence and total sales.’

The Co-operative Food business was earlier this year described by retail industry data from Kantar Worldpanel as ‘the fastest growing non-discounter’.

A Post Office spokesperson said its staff had also been informed of the changes set to take place subject to the new Post Master’s approval.

They added: “We are committed to maintaining a Post Office in this area of Boston. Dates for change have not yet been agreed.”

The latest news follows a series of announced closures within the town including QD Stores and Clarks Shoe Shop on Strait Bargate, and Fenland Fastenings, in Argyle Street.

Further rumours that Argos, on New Street, is set to close have been quashed by the store, with a spokesman saying the store does not appear on the company’s closure programme.

l Since the news was published yesterday (Tuesday) Lincolnshire Co-operative has moved to reassure its customers that its businesses are unaffected by the sales.

The statement follows several customers contacting the company with concerns over its stores’ futures.

The company runs the Boston travel branch in Oldrids Department Store, Boston Funeral Service in South Square, Skirbeck Road Food Store, Woodville Road Food Store, Liquor Pond Street Pharmacy, Parkside Pharmacy in Tawney Street, Eastwood Road Filling Station and Food Store and Argyle Street Food Store.