Littlehampton M local store set to re-open

The Morrisons store, in Chapel Road, Worthing

The Morrisons store, in Chapel Road, Worthing

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Littlehampton’s M local store is set to reopen under a new brand after the supermarket chain Morrisons sold 140 of its convenience stores for £25m.

Morrisons announced today it is set to sell 140 M local convenience stores for around £25m, and said the buyer was a team led by the retail entrepreneur Mike Greene, funded by Greybull Capital.

Ten shops across the country will be rebranded as “My Local”, including the store in Surrey Street, Littlehampton.

Forty-nine of the convenience stores were bought from the administrators of the film rental business Blockbuster, including the store in Chapel Road, Worthing.

The shop, which opened in 2013, will not be closing.

The 2,300 staff will be kept on, with an extra 200 jobs to be created by reopening 10 shops that are currently closed.

Morrisons announced a review of its convenience store business in March.

Earlier this year, Morrisons reported an annual loss of £792m.

It now plans to concentrate on its core supermarkets business. It will keep five of its M local shops that are either on petrol forecourts or can be converted into small supermarkets.

Morrisons chief executive David Potts said M local was ‘unable to scale’.

He said in a statement: “We remain open to other opportunities in convenience in the future.”

They made an operating loss of £36m last year.

Morrisons opened its first convenience store in 2011, but the bulk of them have been open for less than two years.

They were supposed to boost the supermarket chain’s presence in south-eastern England.

It expects to lose about £30m on the transaction and will also be remain liable for the leases on the shops if the new business fails.

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