Customers of the Waitrose in Tottenham Court Road will miss the friendly and helpful staff as well as the quality products if plans to close the shop go ahead this spring.
Shoppers were greeted this week with a notice in the window of the branch of the “little” store at 227-233 Tottenham Court Road which announced its planned closure because of “difficult” trading since it opened five years ago.
Several customers contacted Fitzrovia News to express their concern at the loss of the shop which is popular with local people and which they says serves the residential population very well.
“The Tottenham Court Road Waitrose has a good stock of quality products that we cannot get elsewhere locally. The staff are all very friendly and helpful and they will be missed if the store is to close,” said Dr Kaori O’Connor who lives nearby.
In a statement to Fitzrovia News Waitrose said:
“Waitrose is proposing to close its convenience shop in Tottenham Court Road due to commercial reasons, subject to consulting with its store Partners (employees).
“The retailer has found trading at the little Waitrose store difficult since first opening in 2011 and has been unable to make the shop commercially sustainable.
“The decision to close is subject to consulting with its store Partners who will be given every opportunity to comment on and influence the proposal prior to the final decision being made.
“In the event the proposed closure goes ahead, the store will continue to trade until at least spring 2016 and Waitrose will endeavour to find alternative work within the business for every Partner,” said a spokesperson.
Jackie Wharton, Waitrose convenience director, said:
“It is with regret that we are proposing to close the little Waitrose in Tottenham Court Road. This is not a proposal we have arrived at lightly, but despite the best efforts of everyone concerned, we have not been able to make the store commercially sustainable since opening. We will be consulting with our store Partners over the coming weeks and are grateful to our customers for their understanding.”
Fitzrovia News asked why the company was closing the store which is very near the new Crossrail station at Tottenham Court Road. Analysts predict that there will be a much higher footfall in the street when Crossrail trains start running in 2018 and many businesses are keen to have their brand visible near the station.
Waitrose would not comment specifically on the merits of Crossrail but a source told Fitzrovia News that potential footfall from the new station had been taken into account during discussions on the store’s future.
Fitzrovia News understands that the last day of trading will be 29 April 2016 if the store is to close.
Residents living near the store are encouraging their neighbours to contact Waitrose to prevent the closure. They say to email firstname.lastname@example.org with “Tottenham Court Road store” in the subject line and say how much you value the store and why it should stay open.