Landlord says it ‘made offer’ to keep Huntingdon’s Waitrose store open

Waitrose, Huntingdon,

Waitrose, Huntingdon, - Credit: Archant

Waitrose has turned down a fresh offer by landlords to keep the doors of its Huntingdon branch open amidst a public appeal to save it.

Discussions have been taking place between the retailer and St Benedict’s Court landlords, Columbia Threadneedle, following the former’s announcement that it would be shutting.

According to Waitrose, however, the proposal on the table was not enough to secure the store’s future.

A Waitrose spokesman said: “We held discussions with the landlord, but despite the best efforts of everyone concerned, we were sadly unable to reach an agreement that was acceptable to all parties.”

It is unclear what was detailed within the proposal but Columbia Threadneedle has insisted it will continue to work with Waitrose to find a solution.

A spokesman for Columbia Threadneedle told The Hunts Post: “A revised proposal has been made to Waitrose and we hope this will influence their decision to remain.

As the landlord, we are doing everything we can to keep Waitrose trading.

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“We continue to be committed to ensuring that the retail mix is maximised at St Benedict’s Court. We are working hard to reach an outcome which is in the best interests of all involved.”

Waitrose would not confirm whether the talks between the two parties were continuing.

Since the announcement of its potential closure, thousands of people have signed a petition started by Huntingdonshire District Council member Councillor Ste Greenall, along with sharing ideas on how to keep the store open.

Speaking to The Hunts Post at the launch of the petition, Cllr Greenall, said: “With a store of that size that has been here for 40 years there’s an awful lot of people that rely on it.

“So let’s keep our Waitrose open, it was the first decent sized supermarket in the town and it would be a major blow for it to close.”

The retailer is currently undertaking a consultation with staff after it said the store “requires significant investment which is unlikely to allow the shop to be profitable over the long-term”.