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Morrisons to share B&Q site in Luton

A new supermarket is coming to town (Luton), with the announcement that a Morrisons is set to open in Dallow Road.

The company has this week agreed a deal to share the building currently occupied by DIY superstore B&Q on the Laporte Retail Park.

Discussions are currently underway between Morrisons – which last week announced a home delivery tie-up with Ocado – and Luton Borough Council, prior to a formal planning application being submitted.

The Bradford-based firm opened a new £12million store in Houghton Regis last year, and a spokesman said the Luton store would take the same ‘Fresh Format’ approach, with more space for fresh and chilled food.

B&Q will shrink to 60,000 sq ft, with Morrisons taking up 42,000 sq ft of the building.

A spokesman said: “The proposed conversion of the B&Q store will create in excess of 300 local Morrisons jobs. B&Q has informed employees at its Luton store of its intention to reduce the size of its operation.

“B&Q is supportive of the planning application by Morrisons and the jobs that it will create, and will remain open throughout the conversion works.”

Dates for a public consultation would soon be announced with a planning application coming afterwards, the spokesman added.

Helen Rainsford, head of acquisitions in the south for Morrisons, said: “This agreement with B&Q is great news for Luton as well as Morrisons.

“Our new store will create new local job opportunities, all with real career and training prospects.

“We believe our unique offer of high quality, fresh food at great prices is what makes us stand out against our competitors.”

Andrew McDonnell, B&Q divisional director for London and East Anglia, added: “We are committed to working with Morrisons to enhance the whole shopping experience on the site.”

FIRMS KEEN TO COME TO TOWN

A number of options for a new supermarket in Luton have been on the cards for some time.
The mainly derelict Power Court site has been the subject of much discussion, with rumour that both Tesco and Morrisons were keen to open a superstore there.
A supermarket - most likely to be Morrisons – is also proposed for the yet-to-be-approved Napier Park development on the former Vauxhall car plant site.
Morrisons declined to comment this week on whether the B&Q move would affect their view on opening a store at Napier Park.

Source : Luton Today
www.lutontoday.co.uk/news/business/morrisons-to-share-b-q-site-1-5116499

22 May 2013
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