Co-op shake up
SUNDAY, JULY 27: EXMOUTH'S supermarket landscape will receive another shake- up after Co-op, the UK's fifth largest supermarket chain, announced a buy-out of rival Somerfield. The news follows plans to build an Asda Wal-Mart store on the Estuary side, an application to ex
EXMOUTH'S supermarket landscape will receive another shake- up after Co-op, the UK's fifth largest supermarket chain, announced a buy-out of rival Somerfield.The news follows plans to build an Asda Wal-Mart store on the Estuary side, an application to extend the Tesco store on Salterton Road and moves to also build a Lidl.Exmouth has two Co-op stores, one in Exeter Road and one in Littleham, and a large Somerfield in the Magnolia Centre, but supermarket bosses are keeping tight-lipped over potential store closures and job losses. A spokesman for Co-op said: "The transaction is conditional on receipt of appropriate regulatory approvals. We expect to file with the OFT this month and hear back in late September, therefore we cannot comment on individual locations until then."The Co-op, who currently have 4.2 per cent of the market, behind Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury and Morrisons, said the £1.57bn purchase would strengthen its position in the UK retail market - Somerfield has 3.7 per cent of the market.Wendy Price, an 81-year-old pensioner from Exeter Road, regularly shops in both Somerfield and Co-op, and she said: "I don't care what they call themselves, as long as the prices are low and you don't have to queue for a long time."Last month Exmouth investors in the Co-op received a bumper dividend of over £500 each.