New owners for Westgate store

ANGLIA Co-operative Society is poised to transfer ownership of its Westgate department store in Spalding to another department store operator, J E Beale plc.

The Market Place branch will switch to Beale along with 18 other Westgate stores at the end of May.

Co-op bosses say the move will improve job security for the 34 staff at Spalding.

Anglia Co-operative chief executive John Chillcott said: “In difficult economic times, the society is pleased to have secured the future of Westgate and anticipates minimal disruption and change for customers both during and after the transaction.”

He said the move will mean the Spalding store will be part of one of the largest department store groups in the UK.

Mr Chillcott added: “Beales are a long established department store operator.

“Combining the respective store portfolios into one enlarged group makes strong commercial sense for both parties and improves job security and opportunities for the 900 staff employed in the 19 Westgate stores covered by the deal – including the 34 people who are employed at Spalding.”