Sad day for Northampton as Sainsbury's shuts for good after decades serving the town centre

The store has been open for nearly 46 years and leaves behind a huge unit in the town's shopping centre

Saturday, 6th March 2021, 5:00 am

Today (March 6) marks a sad day for Northampton as Sainsbury's closes its doors for the final time after decades of serving the town centre.

The supermarket giant opened the store in Princes Walk, Grosvenor Centre in July 1975.

For just under 46 years, the shop and its staff have served residents, workers and commuters from the old Greyfriars Bus Station.

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Sainsbury's shuts its doors for good today (March 6).

Colleagues, some of whom have worked in the shop for years themselves, have also been a big part of the town by the way of fundraising for charity in the form of head shaves, running miles and hunting down bananas in the shopping centre.

To mark the shop's last Christmas, the team also dressed up as characters from Wizard of Oz to raise funds for a collection of county-wide charities.

The closure was announced in September 2020 just hours after news broke that Tesco Metro in Abington Street would be relocating in the latest of several blows for Northampton town centre.

Following the news of the closure, one colleague said there was 'a lot of tears' and the company itself said it was looking to find 'alternative roles for those affected'.

When the closure was announced, a Sainsbury’s spokeswoman said: “We have updated colleagues on the difficult decision to close our Northampton store and we are doing everything we can to find alternative roles within Sainsbury’s for those affected.

“Customers can continue to shop with us at a number of nearby stores. For example, our Wellingborough Road store is a short walk away and Weedon Road store is a short drive.”

At the time of announcement, James Roberts, centre manager at Grosvenor, added: “Unfortunately, Sainsbury’s has made the difficult decision to close its branch with us next spring.

"This is very sad and disappointing news for the town and especially the hardworking team at the supermarket, which has done a wonderful job in serving our shoppers for many years.

"We will be supporting our colleagues as best we can following this latest announcement.”

Chronicle & Echo contacted the national Sainsbury's press office this week to ask if we could set up Covid-safe interviews with members of staff to mark the closure and honour their hard work. The company was also asked for comment about the closure and the long-standing members of staff. Both requests were declined.

Grosvenor centre was also contacted for a further comment about the closure and for confirmation about whether the huge, soon-to-be-empty unit will be taken over by another retailer. No reply was received.

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