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Saturday, 04 July 2015

Tesco to turn Mills into a One Stop shop

PRUDHOE’S Mills shop, on Front Street, is to be taken over by Tesco.

The company is selling all 77 of its convenience stores to the supermarket giant, which is to rebrand them under its One Stop arm.

All employees, however, are to keep their jobs and Tesco One Stop has promised investment in and refurbishment of the premises.

Mills trades throughout the UK, but almost half its stores are in the North-East and Cumbria.

The company, which intends to focus on its six-strong supermarket portfolio, was approached by Tesco last summer about the takeover.

One Stop has been wholly owned by Tesco since 2003, but is run as a separate business from its head office in Walsall.

The deal, which is conditional upon regulatory approval, brings the total number of its stores to 598 across England and Wales.

One Stop chief executive David Turner said: “This is exciting news for One Stop. Acquiring 77 Mills stores means we can introduce One Stop’s quality, range and value to the communities they serve.

“We’ll be investing in refurbishing the stores, creating an even better shopping experience, as well as bringing down prices.

“I am also delighted to welcome the staff in these stores to the One Stop team.”

Prudhoe town councillor Peter Nevin said he would be sad to see Mills go.

“I always thought it was a good shop, with a good range of newspapers, magazines and things like that,” he said.

“I’m disappointed its going; I always thought it was one of the strongest traders on the high street.”

Town mayor Coun. Jennifer McGee said: “If Mills was ready to sell, I think Tesco One Stop will be a good thing to have.

“Residents will still be able to get newspapers and things like that, I should imagine, so, hopefully, it will benefit Front Street.”

Not everyone is happy about the expansion of One Stop, however, with the Association of Convenience Stores being among those calling for the Office of Fair Trading to intervene in the acquisition.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said in December: “The competition authorities have repeatedly failed to grasp the implications of the continuing growth of Tesco’s shadow brand.

“We need a full and robust investigation into the implications of the continued growth of the One Stop format.”

Assistant manager of Prudhoe’s Mills store Susan Hepple said staff were awaiting further details on the takeover and did not wish to comment further at this stage.


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