Morrisons to open in Saffron Walden?

PUBLISHED: 17:50 18 February 2013 | UPDATED: 17:51 18 February 2013

Morrisons has bought 49 stores from failed DVD rental chain Blockbuster, it has been announced.

Morrisons has bought 49 stores from failed DVD rental chain Blockbuster, it has been announced.

Archant

SUPERMARKET giant Morrisons could be coming to Saffron Walden after buying dozens of stores from failed DVD rental chain Blockbuster.

The UK’s fourth largest grocer will convert 49 shops under its convenience store brand M local with trading expected to start by the end of the summer.

DVD and rental chain Blockbuster went into administration last month and the town’s Hill Street store has already been closed.

Morrisons has not yet revealed which stores have been bought, but the majority are said to be in the south east region and will create around 1,000 jobs.

“We are rolling out the Morrisons M local estate at pace this year and these acquisitions give us a kick start in securing a solid foothold in this key sector,” said the managing director of Morrisons Convenience Gordon Mowat.

“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 differentiated fresh shopping experience with half the space dedicated to fresh food and scratch cooking all at great prices.”

Lee Manning, a partner at Blockbuster administrator Deloitte, added: “This transaction represents a good deal for both the creditors of Blockbuster and Morrisons and we are pleased that these stores have found an alternative user that can create new employment.

“This group of stores forms a proportion of the Blockbuster package announced for closure earlier this week and is expected to be the first of a number of group and individual store transactions to arise from the Blockbuster portfolio given the significant levels of occupier interest for many of the assets”.

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