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Morrisons is quick to snap up empty stores across Sussex
A major grocery chain has rescued a trio of doomed high street stores.
Morrisons has snapped up three stores in Sussex to convert into local convenience stores – and more could follow.
Up to 60 new jobs will be created when Blockbuster stores in Littlehampton and Worthing and the Jessop’s outlet in Queen’s Road, Brighton, are rebranded as Morrisons M.
Now the fate of 340 Sussex jobs hangs in the balance as administrators hammer out a deal with potential buyers – including Morrisons – over the future of 17 more stores in the area.
Blockbuster went into administration last month with Deloitte announcing it was to shut 164 stores, including those in Chichester, Hove and Burgess Hill. The branches in Peacehaven, Hastings and Shoreham had already been earmarked for closure.
Morrisons has trailed Tesco and Sainsbury’s in developing smaller neighbourhood stores and is now bagging high street stores at knock down prices in an attempt to close the gap.
A Morrisons spokesperson said: “We are rolling out the Morrisons M local estate at pace this year and these acquisitions will help us secure a solid foothold in this key sector. The convenience market is growing as more people shop locally and we want to be in a position to take advantage of this.
“Morrisons M locals offer a fresh shopping experience with half the space dedicated to fresh food and scratch cooking all at great prices.”
A spokeswoman for Deloitte said: “We are continuing to negotiate with a number of interested parties to secure the future of these stores.”
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