Heart of England to close all non-food retail stores

Following the sale of its Coventry department store last month, Heart of England Co-operative is to close all of its non-food retail offerings over the next 12 months. This will...

Following the sale of its Coventry department store last month, Heart of England Co-operative is to close all of its non-food retail offerings over the next 12 months.

This will mean the closure, on a phased basis, of its non-food stores in Nuneaton, Bedworth, Atherstone, Hinckley, Rugby and Leamington Spa. The society’s home and living stores currently sell furniture, electrical goods, carpets, textiles and menswear, among others.

“It is a decision which has by no means been taken lightly, however the retail environment has become increasingly challenging and this, coupled with the growth in online shopping, has meant that our non-food division is no longer viable as a business,” said a statement from the society.

As part of the Coventry site sale, the Heart of England board reviewed the future of its non-food operation as a whole. As a result of this review, the board took the decision that, over the coming year, the non-food division will cease to trade.

“Its closure will enable us to invest in the profitable areas of the business, namely food and funerals, to ensure that the society has a sustainable future and continues to service the needs of the local community as we have over the past 180 years,” added the statement.

The roots of the society date to 1832, when nine ribbon weavers formed the Lockhurst Lane Industrial Co-operative Society in the Parish of Foleshill, Coventry. The idea was to provide working families with decent quality food, clothes and other goods at affordable prices.

It merged with the Coventry Society in 1968 and later became part of the Coventry & East Mercia Co-operative Society. On 1 January 2000, the name was changed to the Heart of England Co-operative to more accurately reflect its trading area.

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