// Morrisons confirms that a total of four stores will close down
// Yesterday it was revealed that Crawley would shut down, but 3 more are now set to close
// The closures are part of a routine review of Morrison’s 494 stores
// Around 400 jobs are thought to be at risk as consultation begins
Morrisons has confirmed plans to close down four of its stores, putting around 400 staff at risk of losing their jobs.
The Big 4 grocer said the closures are part of a “constant review” of its existing portfolio, which consists of 494 stores.
It added that while it has decided to close down four stores, it would invest in four others.
Yesterday it was revealed that the Crawley store in West Sussex, which only opened five years ago, would close down.
Since then, another three stores have been revealed as earmarked for closure: Regents Circus in Swindon, Shirley in Solihull, and Ince in Wigan.
Morrisons released a statement confirming it would be consulting with affected staff to discuss how to reduce redundancies.
The Crawley store, which employs 128, is expected to have the biggest share of job cuts, followed by the Swindon store, which employs 113.
“As we continue to focus on building a broader, stronger Morrisons we are constantly reviewing opportunities for new stores and the performance of our existing estate,” a Morrisons spokesperson said.
“We are planning to invest in four new stores this year and are today, regrettably, proposing to close four.
“We will now be going through a consultation process at the stores and will be discussing how to reduce redundancies and, where possible, redeploy our highly valued colleagues within the business.”
The news comes as Morrions’ market share is being chipped away by the likes of Aldi and Lidl, with the former in particular closing in on Morrisons.
According to Kantar Worldpanel’s recent data, fourth-placed Morrisons’ current market share stands at 10.1 per cent compared to fifth-placed Aldi’s 8.1 per cent.
This time last year, Morrisons’ market share was 10.3 per cent while Aldi’s was much smaller at 7.6 per cent.
Despite this, Morrisons is performing well as a business.
According to its full-year results for the period ending February 3, underlying pre-tax profits came in at £406 million – an 8.6 per cent year-on-year uplift.
Operating profit before exceptionals was £465 million, a 4.5 per cent year-on-year increase.
This marked Morrison’s third straight year of profits.