Morrisons plans a new county store

Elaine Hornsby, pictured in front of the former Wallingford Waitrose site

Elaine Hornsby, pictured in front of the former Wallingford Waitrose site

First published in News Herald Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Didcot and Wallingford. Call me on 01865 425425

SUPERMARKET giant Morrisons is planning to build a new store in Wallingford, bringing up to 300 jobs to the town.

News of the Hithercroft industrial estate plan was welcomed by councillors as providing a choice in the town which currently only has a Waitrose supermarket in the town centre.

But traders’ spokesman Elaine Hornsby said last night the Morrisons store could damage town centre trade if it was located on the industrial estate.

Morrisons spokesman Laura Stubbs confirmed the chain, whose only existing Oxfordshire branch is in Banbury, was looking at a site on the Hithercroft industrial estate.

She said: “A mid-sized store is anticipated.

“There would be approximately 200 to 300 jobs, both full and part-time positions.”

The firm expects to submit a planning application later this year following public consultation over the summer.

More details of the plans are expected to emerge in the next few weeks.

News of the chain’s interest emerged when district councillor Imran Lokhon was contacted by representatives.

Mr Lokhon said: “The feedback I have had from residents so far is positive because it would be competition for Waitrose.

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“I’m hoping to meet Morrisons representatives next month to find out more.”

Mr Lokhon added that Morrisons’ move to Hithercroft would not sort out the long-term future of the town’s former Waitrose store, off St Martin’s Street. That has been largely empty since Waitrose moved to the other end of Market Place seven years ago. Household store Circle 7 moved into the space in 2010 but recently moved out.

Wallingford in Business spokesman Elaine Hornsby, who runs First Edition clothes store in Market Place, said: “I think Morrisons should go into the old Waitrose store – we want to keep the town centre vibrant.

“There’s a danger that Morrisons could damage trade in the town centre if it goes on the industrial estate.”

Traders were due to discuss the Morrisons plan at a meeting last night.

The chain plans to create 7,000 jobs across the UK, as part of ongoing expansion.

In addition to its Banbury branch in Swan Close Road it is planning a store on the old market site in Black Bourton Road, Carterton.

Comments (11)

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11:15am Wed 25 Apr 12

LW-wallingford says...

finally! a shop we can afford to use!
finally! a shop we can afford to use! LW-wallingford
  • Score: 1

11:19am Wed 25 Apr 12

OxfordDon says...

300 jobs...well, more like 285 part-time jobs on short hours.
300 jobs...well, more like 285 part-time jobs on short hours. OxfordDon
  • Score: 0

2:56pm Wed 25 Apr 12

wallywobbler says...

Sounds like the Council are prepared to sacrifice the town centre’s other shops for a big name retailer which will draw even more foot fall away from the town. I’m glad I don’t have to pay rent on a Wallingford shop or make a living out of what I sell there! I don’t welcome this proposal at the Hithercroft, if it were at the old Waitrose store I might just see the point but Waitrose would object to a local competitor on land they control – isn’t that against competition law now?
Sounds like the Council are prepared to sacrifice the town centre’s other shops for a big name retailer which will draw even more foot fall away from the town. I’m glad I don’t have to pay rent on a Wallingford shop or make a living out of what I sell there! I don’t welcome this proposal at the Hithercroft, if it were at the old Waitrose store I might just see the point but Waitrose would object to a local competitor on land they control – isn’t that against competition law now? wallywobbler
  • Score: 0

7:25pm Wed 25 Apr 12

L0RD PETER MCVEY 0X2 6EG says...

Stopped off in the one at Belper, and a very nice deli counter they have, you Wallingfordies have a treat coming.
Stopped off in the one at Belper, and a very nice deli counter they have, you Wallingfordies have a treat coming. L0RD PETER MCVEY 0X2 6EG
  • Score: 0

9:52pm Wed 25 Apr 12

hp1 says...

Please let it happen, so the less well off amongst us can afford to go shopping
Please let it happen, so the less well off amongst us can afford to go shopping hp1
  • Score: 0

6:03am Thu 26 Apr 12

Andrew:Oxford says...

Let's hope they make a significant contribution to improving local road infrastructure.

The roads around there are pretty poor.
Let's hope they make a significant contribution to improving local road infrastructure. The roads around there are pretty poor. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 0

12:39pm Thu 26 Apr 12

JWalk says...

At last a Morrisons for Oxfordshire! Have to drive to Reading if I want to shop there and their own products taste lovely much better than Tescos! As usual it will be the NIMBYS that oppose! Think of the extra jobs and trade Wallingford would have, it doesnt have much at the mo, people in Wallingford come to Didcot to shop! If you dont want Morrisons I dont mind it coming to Didcot!
At last a Morrisons for Oxfordshire! Have to drive to Reading if I want to shop there and their own products taste lovely much better than Tescos! As usual it will be the NIMBYS that oppose! Think of the extra jobs and trade Wallingford would have, it doesnt have much at the mo, people in Wallingford come to Didcot to shop! If you dont want Morrisons I dont mind it coming to Didcot! JWalk
  • Score: 0

8:47am Fri 27 Apr 12

livid99 says...

Morrisons is a decent supermarket. Their fresh fruit, veg and fish are excellent. Also the stores are well managed and affordable, unlike Sainsbury's where "Customer Service" does not mean anything to the staff.
Morrisons is a decent supermarket. Their fresh fruit, veg and fish are excellent. Also the stores are well managed and affordable, unlike Sainsbury's where "Customer Service" does not mean anything to the staff. livid99
  • Score: 0

1:49pm Fri 27 Apr 12

EMBOX1 says...

I used to live near a "Morries" up north, and it was DIRE. I hope they have bucked their ideas up since the early 2000s.

It was dirty, horrible staff and had a very odd odour in the shop. They do a good fry up in the cafe, though.

I agree the shop should be in the town centre - just look at what Abingdon and Didcot have become, thanks to out of town places.
I used to live near a "Morries" up north, and it was DIRE. I hope they have bucked their ideas up since the early 2000s. It was dirty, horrible staff and had a very odd odour in the shop. They do a good fry up in the cafe, though. I agree the shop should be in the town centre - just look at what Abingdon and Didcot have become, thanks to out of town places. EMBOX1
  • Score: 0

9:30pm Mon 30 Apr 12

kerryjo says...

I think it will be good for the town to have a big shop as there are loads of low income family live here and need cheaper food prices ! Also creates more jobs i would love a evening job but don't drive so that would be wonderful! People are also moaning about people being on benefits but with bus prices going up how can they afford to get to work so it would be beneficial for the local people as more homes are also being built
I think it will be good for the town to have a big shop as there are loads of low income family live here and need cheaper food prices ! Also creates more jobs i would love a evening job but don't drive so that would be wonderful! People are also moaning about people being on benefits but with bus prices going up how can they afford to get to work so it would be beneficial for the local people as more homes are also being built kerryjo
  • Score: 0

1:31pm Fri 18 May 12

JANE P. says...

Oh yes please,let's have this store!!!! Variety is the spice of life,and I may even find a part-time job-all on the doorstep!
Oh yes please,let's have this store!!!! Variety is the spice of life,and I may even find a part-time job-all on the doorstep! JANE P.
  • Score: 0

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