LIBERAL Democrats in Gateshead have written to the boss of The Cooperative Group to ask for reassurances about the future of the Somerfield supermarket in Whickham.
The Cooperative have recently announced they are buying Somerfield to convert their supermarkets to Coops. However, the Office of Fair Trading may require some stores to be sold to other retail chains.
Councillor Peter Maughan, Parliamentary Spokesman for Blaydon constituency (which includes Whickham), has written to Cooperative Chief Executive Peter Marks to ask about the future of the store in Whickham.
“The current Whckham Somerfield supermarket employs many residents as well as being one of the main shops here so we are concerned that it continues to operate, either under the Coop or another retail company,” said Peter.
“Whickham already has a Coop store and residents want to ensure both this store and the existing Somerfield continue in operation.
“If the Office of Fair Trading steps in and requires the Somerfield store to be sold to another company, we want that to take place as smoothly and quickly as possible so that residents can continue to shop there.
“I have therefore written to Peter Marks to ask him to reassure local residents that the supermarket here either has a strong future or is quickly transferred to another supermarket company with the minimum of disruption for staff and shoppers alike.”