February date for opening of Ilfracombe store

THE new Ilfracombe Lidl store is set to open in February, the Gazette understands. The former Co-op premises in Wilder Road closed on November 1 and were sold to Lidl by the Co-operative Group on November 9. Ilfracombe Mayor Councillor Philip Webb said it

THE new Ilfracombe Lidl store is set to open in February, the Gazette understands.

The former Co-op premises in Wilder Road closed on November 1 and were sold to Lidl by the Co-operative Group on November 9.

Ilfracombe Mayor Councillor Philip Webb said it had been announced at an Ilfracombe High Street Traders meeting that the store would reopen in the middle of February.

The town council has also received two planning applications from Lidl, for new signage and also minor alterations to the shop front. It has recommended approval for both.


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This would include a new wider covered trolley area to the front of the store, with trolleys fitted with coin-operated locks. The entrance lobby will also be altered to allow people to enter through the front rather than the side, with a separate entrance and exit.

The company plans some "significant" internal alterations, although these do not require planning permission. The layout will be altered to resemble an open plan Lidl store and most of the internal walls in the ground floor warehouse will be removed to allow for more stock to be stored. The chiller will run along the back wall of the sales area and upstairs the staff room area will be enlarged.

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The sale to Lidl occurred following Co-op's �1.6 billion takeover of Somerfield in March. In the case of Ilfracombe and in other areas, the Office of Fair Trading insisted either the Co-op or Somerfield stores in the town would have to be sold as a going concern to another food retailer.

The Somerfield store in Ilfracombe is expected to become a Co-op in time, but as yet there is no date for this. When announcing the sale of the Wilder Road premises to Lidl, the Co-operative Group said it would be sold as a going concern and staff automatically transferred to Lidl, with their terms and conditions of employment maintained under employment law.

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