A Billingshurst supermarket will be closed for a ‘couple of months’ as part of a take-over by a national supermarket chain .
The Budgens store, in High Street, is set to be taken over by Sainsbury’s in the next couple of weeks and the company has announced they will be closing the store to carry out conversion works.
The supermarket closed today (Friday March 20) and will remain shut for a couple of months while the works are carried out, however no start date has yet been announced as Sainsbury’s said they do not currently own the store.
A spokesperson for the supermarket said the deal had almost been completed but the legal agreements still needed to be finalised.
The spokesperson said:“We are intending on taking over the Budgens however our final legal agreement is still to be finalised - this should take place in the next couple of weeks. As yet we do not own the store.
“The store would be closed for a couple of months while conversion work takes place.”
The store would be closed for a couple of months while conversion work takes place.Sainsbury’s spokesperson
Concerns have been raised by a number of local residents about the closure of the store for a long period of time.
In response to these concerns Sainsbury’s said they were looking to bring in plans to make sure shoppers could access a supermarket while the works take place.
The spokesperson continued: “We have spoken to a number of local people and are very aware of the need for a local store.
“We are exploring a number of opportunities including the provision of a free bus that would take people to a nearby Sainsbury’s while the store is closed.
“We will keep local people informed of our plans and very much look forward to opening a store in Billingshurst.”
The spokesperson added Sainbury’s had run a similar bus service system up in Derbyshire while converting a store in the area and found it had worked well.
They also said if the works begin as soon as possible they hoped the store would be reopened in June.
In January the previous owners of the Budgens supermarket, the Kavanagh Group, who own a range of stores across the South Coast, announced they had agreed a deal in principle with Sainsbury’s to sell the Billingshurst store.
At the time Noel Kavanagh, head of Kavanagh Retailing UK Ltd, said the store was set to continue operating as a Budgens until early to mid-March.
Staff have been informed about the change and were expected to transfer over to their new employers.
He added none of the company’s other stores would be affected by the deal.
The Kavanagh Group, which employs more than 1,100 people, is a family owned business which comprises 16 supermarkets across Ireland and Britain.
Sainsbury’s currently has a supermarket at Pulborough and also a superstore in Horsham.