Bid To Save Sainsbury's Chiswick Cafe Fails

Supermarket says changing to Argos concession is to give 'enhanced range to shoppers'

Image - Mike Abbott


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Local MP Ruth Cadbury's plea to Sainsbury's management to reconsider closing the Chiswick cafe has fallen on deaf ears.

The Brentford and Isleworth MP had pointed out that the cafe was very much a community hub and was used by many elderly residents. However, the cafe has been closed and work has started on renovating the premises to become an Argos concession.

Ruth had said she saddened by the decision because the cafe had provided a welcoming and affordable place for local shoppers, and had many regulars who would miss it.

However, Sainsbury's told the MP in a letter that while Sainsbury’s preference would be to maintain the café at Chiswick, "Unfortunately we are unable to maintain our existing café and install a new Argos concession. We are having to prioritise the latter in order to ensure customers have access to an enhanced range covering groceries and general merchandise."

The letter continues: "At Sainsbury’s our mission is to be the UK’s most trusted retailer where people love to work and shop. Customers are the lifeblood of our business and we have continued to shape our strategy to maximise our service and better meet the needs of our shoppers.

"Our aim is to ensure every effort is made to redeploy all affected colleagues. Wherever possible we will look to offer redeployment to a suitable vacancy in a store where affected colleagues can reasonably travel to.

"I hope that I have helped reassure you of our commitment to our customers and the community by doing the right thing for them as well as supporting our colleagues in the right way. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of further assistance to you."

Ruth Cadbury described the response as "not helpful".

Three years ago, Sainsbury's announced that it planning to convert shop space equivalent to almost 40 supermarkets from selling food into non-food items in a bid to fight back against a fall in grocery sales.

The supermarket chain identified 1.5m sq ft of space across the UK, which represents 6pc of its portfolio, that it no longer needed for food. The company has since bought Argos and Habitat Home for £1.4 billion and has installed pick up locations across the country.

October 14, 2018

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