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Gloucestershire Business News

Sainsbury's to review future of 15 supermarkets and around 70 Argos stores

Sainsbury's have announced that they are undertaking a "store estate review" of their supermarket and Argos stores on the day they released a trading statement for the second quarter of 2019.

The supermarket giant agreed a £1.4billion takeover of Argos in 2016 and has since moved many of the catalogue retail concessions into its superstores and store closures were expected.

Sainsbury's reported "stronger trading across grocery, merchandise and clothing" in the period with retail sales up 0.1 per cent overall, albeit down 0.2 per cent on a like-for-like basis.

Grocery sales increased by 0.6 per cent and clothing sales were up 3.3 per cent, offset by a general merchandise sales decline of 2.0 per cent.

In the report, Sainsbury's said they have a "Unique opportunity to structurally reduce costs by circa £500million over five years as we bring our business together, in addition to ongoing cost savings to cover the impact of cost inflation."

It added the: "Store estate review and growth plans will result in c.10 new supermarkets and 10-15 closures. C.80 new Argos in Sainsbury's and 60-70 Argos closures. C. 110 new convenience stores and 30-40 store closures."

It is the news of the Argos closures that could have the most impact on the high streets of Gloucestershire.

Gloucester has already lost its city centre Argos, although there is still a store on the Cattle Market.

There are also Argos stores in Cirencester's Dyer Street and on Cheltenham's High Street - both of which would be candidates to close with Sainsbury's operations in the towns.

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