LONDON, Sept 16 (Reuters) – British supermarket chain Waitrose, part of the employee-owned John Lewis Partnership , plans to close four stores in December because it cannot make them profitable, it said on Wednesday.
The stores are in Caldicot, Wales; Ipswich Corn Exchange, eastern England; and Shrewsbury and Wolverhampton in central England. The Wolverhampton store is being sold to market leader Tesco.
Waitrose said 124 employees, or partners as it calls them, face the risk of redundancy, while 140 workers in the Wolverhampton store will transfer to Tesco.
“Sadly, we have not been able to find a way to make these shops profitable in the long-term,” said Bérangère Michel, the partnership’s executive director of customer service.
The Waitrose closures follow a July announcement from the partnership’s department stores arm that it would close eight stores, putting 1,300 jobs at risk.
After the closures, Waitrose will trade from 331 stores –