22nd Nov, 2019

Councillors set for eleventh hour talks with Aldi bosses to save Coventry supermarket

COVENTRY councillors are set to issue a final plea to Aldi bosses to reconsider the closure of its Bell Green supermarket.

They are set for eleventh hour talks with directing managers in the region on March 4 and are backed by thousands of petitioners.

The popular supermarket on Roseberry Avenue, Bell Green, is facing closure because it cannot ‘meet demand’.

Campaigning councillors submitted a petition for Aldi to reconsider containing nearly 500 signatures – while an online petition has reached almost 1,000.

Campaigning resident Mel Gregory who started the online petition says the efforts have been ‘pointless’ as Bell Green customers have already switched to a nearby store.

She said: “We tried but we are only a few people. Our voices have not been heard and I find this disappointing.

“The Aldi at Gallagher (retail park) is going through a refit in early March just in time for Bell Green to finally close its doors at the end of March.

“According to the manager at Gallagher, Bell Green customers are already using the store.

“This was confirmed by staff at Bell Green.”

But Longford and Henley ward councillors – who have already sent a joint letter to chief executive of Aldi UK Giles Hurley – remain defiant.

Henley Councillor Patricia Seaman said at a full council meeting on Tuesday (February 19): “There is an online Change.org petition of 12,000 signatures. This closure is a big blow to the loyal customers of Aldi.

“This is the first Aldi in Coventry which opened in 1991 and is used by many residents in the Henley and Longford wards.

“This successful store is meeting the needs of local people as it is situated right in the heart of the community.

“Not everyone has easy access to other stores or can easily afford transport costs to shop.

“The residents and I ask Aldi to consider its social responsibility to its loyal customers and to reconsider the closure.

“As we are one Coventry.

“And hopefully when we meet with the directing manager on March 4 we might get some answers.”

Longford Councillor Linda Bigham, who moved the motion, said: “Our constituents have been loyal to Aldi and over the years it’s been a shop of great importance to the area allowing people who do not have transport to access fresh fruit and vegetables which are essential in our area where there is much deprivation.

“Constituents are bemused and amazed that a store would close because it is too successful something that many other stores would be glad of.”

Lord Mayor David Blundell confirmed the petition will be referred to Aldi with the backing of Coventry City Council.

An Aldi spokesperson last month said: “Unfortunately, we have had to take the decision to close our Bell Green store at the end of March as the store and car park are no longer large enough to meet demand.

“All colleagues are being given the opportunity to relocate to another of our stores in the city.

“We currently have six stores across Coventry, including at the nearby Gallagher Retail Park, which also serves some of the Bell Green community. We are now looking for new larger sites in the city with more parking spaces.”

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