As 2018 has already been proclaimed as "the year of the CVA" with House of Fraser's CVA being approved last week, another tale of reduced profits and store closures is announced by Waitrose. As a significant store for many shopping centres, landlords will hoping that this is different to the warnings from other retailers and that the business is merely reinvesting in order to secure its future. Time will tell.
John Lewis is set to close five Waitrose stores, including two in London. The London closures include a Camden supermarket and a Little Waitrose in Portman Square. Elsewhere, the retailer is closing two Little Waitrose outlets in Manchester and one in Birmingham. Waitrose has accepted an offer from Aldi for the Camden supermarket – the largest of the five at 10,000 sq ft – as well as an offer from the Co-op for the other four stores. The sale of the shops is expected to complete in the autumn. Waitrose retail director, Ben Stimson, said: “The sale of these shops is not something we take lightly, but we have accepted offers for them as it is sadly – despite the best efforts of everyone involved – not commercially viable for us to continue trading from them in the long term.