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Newmarket's Asda under threat from closure as supermarket considers pulling out of town

Asda Newmarket in Oaks Retail Park, Oaks Drive (3681610)
Asda Newmarket in Oaks Retail Park, Oaks Drive (3681610)

Thirty-nine jobs at a Newmarket store are under threat after supermarket giant Asda announced it is considering pulling out of the town.

The Leeds-based company opened its Oaks Drive branch in 2011, but it has continuously underperformed despite strong opening sales.

Asda told store staff yesterday about its plans, which are currently at a proposal stage.

If the supermarket does decide to close, it will shut before the lease expires in December.

Anthony Hemmerdinger, senior vice president for operations at Asda, said: "Despite the very best efforts of our colleagues in store at Asda, at our store in Newmarket the store sadly continues to underperform in a tough market.

"The store site has recently reached the expiry of its current lease and so it makes sense for us to consider its future.

"We never take the decision to consider closing a store lightly and appreciate that this is a difficult time for our impacted colleagues in the shop. We are now listening to them and ensuring we explore all opinions before making a final decision."

But union GMB said if Asda closes its Newmarket store, it will be able to secure jobs for its 35 members who work in the branch.

Keith Dixon, GMB regional organiser, said: "It is a difficult time within retail and many retailers are tightening their belts to remain competitive.

"It was emotional to hear feedback from the members who were praised by Asda management upon the work they had done and the store's achievements.

"The proposal to close the Asda Newmarket will have a lasting effect upon the community and those members whom impacts."

As well as the Newmarket store, Asda has recently announced a proposal to close a site in Leeds and their Enfield Home shopping site.