The future of a West Norfolk village shop has been secured after it was sold to one of the country’s largest convenience store operators.
The McColl’s Retail Group has completed a deal to buy the site in Clenchwarton from i the East of England Co-op, who say it is no longer financially viable for them to run it.
The Main Road premises, which is one of four across Norfolk and Suffolk that are affected by the deal, will be temporarily closed next month while a refit takes place.
And managers say all the staff who currently work there are being transferred to the new owners.
Dave Thomas, McColl’s chief operating officer, said: “We are delighted to acquire these four convenience stores from the East of England Co-op and welcome all of our new colleagues to the business.
“We pride ourselves on our local neighbourhood focus at McColl’s and look forward to providing the communities surrounding these stores with a full range of amenities and neighbourhood services at a competitive price.
“The stores are the perfect size for our operating model and the acquisition is fully aligned with our convenience store expansion strategy.”
Roger Grosvenor, joint chief executive of the East of England Co-op said: “As a member owned business, we have to balance the needs of individual communities and stores with the need to provide value for our members and build a sustainable future.
“Despite looking at lots of options, unfortunately continuing to operate these branches isn’t viable for our business.
“Although we are saddened to no longer be operating these stores, we’re pleased that the local community will continue to have access to a convenience store and the sale has secured the employment of our colleagues.”
The store will close on Saturday, October 15 for refurbishment work to take place and is scheduled to re-open on October 17.
As part of the deal, McColl’s will take over the management of the Post Office that forms part of the shop site.
A community access defibrilator, which was one of more than 100 installed at Co-op stores across the region, will also remain in place.
First established in 1973, McColl’s already runs more than 1,300 shops and 550 Post Office branches in Norfolk.
The firm currently owns stores in Lynn, Downham, Swaffham, Fakenham and West Walton.