Lytham’s traders’ leader has spoken of her sadness that the town’s Co-operative Food store could close – and be replaced by a charity shop.
The Co-operative has confirmed that it has ‘agreed in principle’ to transfer to lease of the store to Cancer Research UK.
The shock decision comes just three months after the Co-operative took over the former Booths store in Woodlands Road, Ansdell to take its tally of shops in Fylde to seven.
Those in St Annes and Wesham have recently undergone major refurbishments, while the chain also has a presence in Freckleton, Kirkham and Warton - but a spokesman says the question mark over the Lytham shop’s future is part of an ‘ongoing store review process’.
The Clifton Street store currently employs nine staff and the spokesman added that the company would look to redeploy them in other local stores if the Lytham branches closes.
He said: “The Co-op has been in discussions about transferring the Lytham store lease to Cancer Research UK.
“While it has been agreed in principle, any final agreement is still subject to and conditional upon legal contracts being finalised and exchanged.
“The staff have been informed of the situation and if the store is to close there will be a full consultation and we will seek to identify re-deployment opportunities within other local stores.
“The decision is part of our on-going store review process and is in no way a reflection on the hard work and commitment from the nine colleagues working at the store.”
Denize Ashton, chairman of the Lytham Business Parnership, said: “It’s sad to hear of the potential loss of the Co-op in Lytham, as it’s a great draw to the high street, with fantastic staff.
“It will have a marked effect of daily footfall to that area of town.
“It is increasingly difficult to attract people to shop local. shop small as it is and if there is not the type of retail people want, why would they come? “
Alison Barbuti, Cancer Research UK spokesman for the North West, said: “We are in the process of discussing this site with the Co-op and are very excited about the prospect but it is too early to give any further information at this stage.”