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Race to fill Royal Wootton Bassett shop’s gap
7:00am Sunday 28th October 2012 in News
A big gap will be left in the High Street of Royal Wootton Bassett when the Co-op closes next month. The company has confirmed that the store shuts on November 28, with 27 staff losing their jobs. The supermarket said it will try to redeploy as many of the staff affected by the closure within the Co-operative Group. A group spokesperson said: “Staff at the store have been informed of the decision, which has been taken with the greatest regret. The closure is due to poor trading performance and is not, in any way, a reflection on the commitment and hard work of the store team. “Every effort will be made to redeploy as many as possible of the seven full-time and 20 part-time members of staff with the Co-operative Group, or to help them find alternative employment.” Mayor Mike Leighfield said the closure would leave a big gap in the High Street and the council would work quickly with the Chamber of Commerce and Retailers’ Association to find a new business to fill the premises. He said: “I have been talking to people about how we only have one small retail unit that is vacant in the High Street. It is very sad and means we now have a big unit which is going to become empty. “I am not surprised, it has always been the second choice supermarket because it is not a big shop. When they put the £1 charges for the car parking a lot of people said ‘it’s only 30p over there for a bigger shop’. I am not saying that is the reason, but it would have had an effect. “We want to make sure it is not closed for any length of time because it will start detracting from the High Street.” Shoppers have been surprised by the closure. Pam Nightingale, 67, of Royal Wootton Bassett, said: “I didn’t know it was closing down and it is a big blow for the High Street. “We have a thriving shopping community here with a number of independent shops, so I would hope the shop is not left standing empty for too long.”
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