Six Co-ops to be sold off

Exterior of Co-op Food store, Wigan Road, Bryn

Exterior of Co-op Food store, Wigan Road, Bryn

Half a dozen of the borough’s Co-op branches could soon be under new ownership as the retail giant sells hundreds of its smaller stores.

The plan is to sell a total of 298 outlets to rival McColls although the deal has yet to be run by the Competition and Markets Authority for approval.

A list of the affected stores was published last night and those affected locally are the Co-ops in Marsh Green; Norley Hall Avenue, Norley; Wigan Road, Bryn, The Centre in Higher Fold, Leigh; Manchester Road, Laigh, and Gadbury Fold, Atherton.

Some of the stores - including those in Marsh Green and Norley - are quite close to existing McColls branches. But the buyer has issued assurances that there will be no closures and also that existing pay and conditions of the workers will be protected.

The Co-op said the sell-off was part of a plan to grow the company by focusing on its larger stores.

CEO Steve Murrells said: “These stores did not allow us to provide a sufficiently compelling own-brand offer for our members going forwards.”