Confirmed: Armley Co-op to close

18 March 2016

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The Co-op food store in Armley Town Street is set to close, it’s been confirmed today.

The move will see 21 people lose their jobs – and has sparked local anger.

A spokesperson for The Co-operative Food told the Dispatch:

“We can confirm that our store in Town Street, Armley will close at the end of April.

“The decision to close was taken with the greatest reluctance and it was not, in any way, a reflection on the commitment and hard work of the store team.

“We would like to thank our shoppers for their valued custom over the years.”

The decision is a blow to Town Street which has, in recent months, shown signs of revival. A new residents’ group, All Together Armley, has been planning a series of improvements and events to revitalise the area, which has suffered from well-documented problems with anti-social behaviour and street drinking.

The closure decision has been heavily criticised by Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves. She said:

“I condemn this closure in the strongest possible way. Without any consultation or notice, the Co-op have decided to withdraw from one of the most deprived areas in Leeds, leaving it without a large food store and making 21 local people redundant.

“Whilst other high street names are working to improve the area, this move by the Co-op was taken in spite of the efforts the community has made in recent months to re-invigorate Armley Town Street.

“This is an appalling decision that will devastate a community which has stayed loyal to the Co-op for many years.”

Ms Reeves added she was seeking an urgent meeting with senior executives to see what options, if any, can be found to change their minds or mitigate the impact of the closure on local people.

Another Town Street trader, who asked not to be named, said:

“The Co-op is a big draw for shoppers – the worry is that the number of people using Town Street will decline further as a result. There’s always been a supermarket there – it used to be Kwik Save before.”

It’s not yet known which business, if any, will take on the shop unit once it becomes vacant.

What do you think? Have your say in the comments below.




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Techno says:

There is a Tesco Express nearby on the main road so it’s not a terrible disaster. That Tesco Express has probably helped to kill off that Co-Op by taking business away.

The supermarket in Bramley shopping centre was closed for a over a year not long ago and I had to walk to Morrisons on Swinnow Road every couple of days because I don’t have a car.

J. Howes says:

It doesn’t surprise me that they are closing.The prices are not competative. Far too pricey. Aldi is not far from Town Street and with the proposed retail site for Armley road, where a Lidl store will be opening,then maybe this outcome would have happened anyway.Before these stores opened they had the monopoly on where local people could get their daily shop. I am sorry for the employees who face loosing their jobs.

Carol says:

I stopped shopping on Armley Town street a while ago as I do not feel safe there anymore it is very intimidating groups of people drinking etc Armley was a great place to shop back in the day but not anymore it’s a shame about the co-op as we have no large supermarket in Armley but then again I don’t blame them Armley has been forgotten as so has tong road the bottom end I am ashamed to tell people I live in Harley

Anon says:

What did the council think would happen when they let all the polish shops selling discount beer open on there doorstep. Heron foods being allowed to open right next door to them also probably didn’t help. Back when these town streets thrived there would be one anchor store (coop) and little stores specialising in certain trades (butchers, florists, greengrocer). Now all the shops on town street are selling the same things. The councillors in this area need to take a good long hard look at themselves (reeves and Lowe) and ask whether short term gain in terms of rents and rates are worth the pain of not having a brand like coop on there Main Street. Don’t blame the coop they can’t carry on making losses
Blame yourselves for making Armley town street look like little Warsaw. Rant over I’m off to sleep. I just feel for the 21 staff.

Martin says:

I feel sorry for the people who will lose their jobs and I suspect some of them will have been there a long time. It’s just the way the world is in these times. Jobs come and go, there are no job for life anymore. Banking, Insurance and Legal were good safe jobs, ( my background was in a legal office for 30+ years) along with working for other national firms like the Co-op. Rather than complain, which never does that much good, I would like to suggest that the staff take a look at a business opportunity and an alternative income, that they can do part time, or part time and earn as much as they did before ( if not more). Lets help the ones directly as well as the wider issues that arise. Check the following website http://www.lifestyle4u.biz.

Alison james says:

Armley town street has always had a super market from as far back as I can remember and I’m 47yrs old in May,my mother work at the check out in the 70’s and i worked on the fruit and veg department for a few years in the late 90’s when it was kwik save.
Alot of people especially the elderly use the co op and other shops on town street because they can’t manage to get to asda ect, it’s such a shame that the co op is going to close, Armley town street will not be the same.

David says:

If Armley had been a business for the last 20 odd years would you sack the management if you were given the chance? Well you will get that chance at the coming elections. Show the ‘management’ what you think of them and slam the door behind them.

AndyBee says:

Too many shoplifters apparently, was in there yesterday and one of the workers said this was one of the main reasons why.

Roman says:

I’m angry when I hear comments that it is not welcome at every op will open next Polish shop. everyone should know that the Polish shops are not opened by the Poles only by the people of Pakistan, etc. products in these stores are not good quality. praise may earn only meats and breads as well as some regional products and sweets. prices in these stores are cosmic and exaggerated. I’m from Poland and I live with my family at Armley for almost 10 years. I prefer to shop in normal uk stores