Brundall could end up with two Co-op stores as Budgens closes tomorrow

The opening of the Central England Co-operative in Brundall

The opening of the Central England Co-operative in Brundall - Credit: Archant

They might be Co-operative by name, but the company's plans for a new rival village store suggests the opposite.

The Co-operative Group has revealed it is planning to takeover the Budgens of Brundall supermarket later this year.

It comes just a week after Central England Co-operative opened a £1.6m store on the former Brundall Motor Company site.

The move will see both companies, which are independent from each other, operate supermarkets less than half-a-mile apart. A spokesman for the Co-operative Group said it was looking to open its new food store within the next eight to 10 weeks.

'We're currently in discussions with all Budgens employees about the transfer and what it means to them,' the spokesman said.

'The Co-op is a community retailer and we're committed to playing an active role in local life.'

The company said it would be revealing further information about the new supermarket next week.

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Last Friday, Central England Co-operative opened its 3,000sq ft store in the village, creating 19 new jobs.

But following its launch, Brundall's existing supermarket, Budgens, announced it was due to close.

The company, based on The Street, is to close at 4pm tomorrow.

Budgens owner for the last 10 years Jinx Hundal said he was selling the store for personal reasons as he could no longer juggle the management and raising a three-year-old child.

'I am at the end of my 10 year contract with Budgens and my personal circumstances have changed in that time,' he said.

'I decided I needed to look at my options, and the Co-Op came forward.'

All of the 27 members of staff will be able retain their jobs under TUPE legislation, added Mr Hundal.

'One of my decision making processes is the store is in desperate need of investment, and the Co-Op are gutting the store and putting a brand new one back in, so they are investing a large amount of money.

'It will be closed until mid-October, but the Post Office will remain open for trading throughout that time.'

While Central England Co-operative is independent from the Co-operative Group, both companies are said to be part of the wider 'co-operative movement'.

Do you know of a new store opening near you? Call Luke Powell on 01603 772684.

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