Closure of Cleveleys Tesco = a New Future for Iceland

Closure of Cleveleys Tesco = a New Future for Iceland

The closure of Cleveleys Tesco has been the talk of the town since the news broke in August 2018. We now know that it will reopen as a new Iceland store in 2019.

Iceland Opening Day Set

Published 22.8.19

If you’ve been into Cleveleys in the last week or so, you’ll have seen that work is cracking on apace at the former Tesco store, as Iceland prepare their new shop.

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A lot of less glamorous, structural maintenance work has been taking place, both inside and at the rear of the store. Now, the front of the store is surrounded by grey hoarding so we won’t see the transformation until the big reveal.

A new banner is also in place on the boards, with the opening date of 22 October 2019.

Work Starts at Iceland

Published 9.7.19

Brilliant news to start the new week, with the arrival of building contractors at the closed Tesco unit in Cleveleys town centre. Many thanks to Visit Cleveleys contributors Brenda and Keith for these updates and photos.

  • By 9am on Monday 8 July 2019, several vehicles had arrived at the back of the store. Including a big low loader, a cherry picker, mini digger, and four vans. More followed during the day.
  • Today (9.7.19) there’s nothing to see at the front of the shop, but it looks like a couple of vans have been there all night. They were still there at 11.30pm, and seem to still be there this morning.

Workmen arriving may not seem like such a big deal. But don’t underestimate the value of the investment that Iceland is making in our town. The closure of Tesco left a big gap in the high street. Not only is the vacant unit a blot on the street scene, it’s been missed by many shoppers. As a store selling a wide range of produce including branded goods, it will be great to have a supermarket back at the heart of the town again.

We’ve started a gallery of progress photos to look back on –

Cleveleys Iceland, opens 22 October 2019
Cleveleys Iceland, opens 22 October 2019
Closure of Cleveleys Tesco = a new future for Iceland
Closure of Cleveleys Tesco = a new future for Iceland
Work cracks on in earnest at Iceland
Work cracks on in earnest at Iceland
Work cracking on inside the new Iceland in Cleveleys
Work cracking on inside the new Iceland in Cleveleys
9 July 2019
9 July 2019
9 July 2019
9 July 2019
9 July 2019
Workmen arrive at Tesco on Monday 8 July 2019
Workmen arrive at Tesco on Monday 8 July 2019
Lonely trolley at the back of the closed Tesco in Feb 2019
Lonely trolley at the back of the closed Tesco in Feb 2019
Building site formerly known as Tesco Cleveleys. 19.12.18
Building site formerly known as Tesco Cleveleys. 19.12.18

Another Iceland Planning Application

Published 25.6.19

With work beginning at the new Norcross retail park site, speculation is rife in Cleveleys as to whether various big names might be moving there.

We do know that M&S Simply Food is moving there and apparently B&M is in discussion with the letting agent. We’re all hoping that no other big names follow suit.

However, it appears to be all systems go at the former Tesco store, which is destined to become a new Iceland. Another planning application was lodged on 23 May 2019 for the kit required to operate the freezer equipment.

The application is for “The construction of a flow forge plant cage/compound and the installation of air conditioning/refrigeration plant thereto together with the forming of 3 no. openings and various core holes in external wall associated with same, new roof mounted air conditioning plant with new safety handrail.”

Visit Cleveleys has asked Iceland for news regarding their plans for opening the store. Their reply is “it’s provisionally scheduled to open in October, subject to planning approval and the completion of necessary works.” They’re going to keep us posted.

Iceland Planning Application Submitted for Cleveleys Tesco Unit

Phew, that’s a relief, another step closer for a new Iceland store in Cleveleys, following the closure of Cleveleys Tesco.

On 21 March 2019 a planning application was submitted to Wyre Council. It includes recladding of the front of the full unit including Boots and the former Vodaphone shop, a new canopy and a new shop front.

Have a look at the artists impression they’ve submitted –

Before and after photos of the new Iceland store proposals for Cleveleys
Before and after photos of the new Iceland store proposals for Cleveleys

The plans include over cladding of existing concrete with powder coated planking. The existing roof canopy will be overhauled and recovered. New Iceland signage will be installed on the shop itself.

Updates on the arrival of Iceland

Published 9 March 2019

The word on the streets is that the people of Cleveleys are by now adamant that Iceland has backed out of any negotiations to acquire the former Tesco store on Victoria Road West.

As they say ‘it’s not over until the fat lady sings’. So Visit Cleveleys thought it was time to go back to our friend at Iceland and ask him. Here’s what he said:

March 2019 update from Iceland on the former Tesco store.
March 2019 update from Iceland on the former Tesco store.

So there you have it. At the end of the day if there’s asbestos in the building someone is going to have to sort it out at sometime!

Update Published 23 January 2019

You might have heard rumours spreading around Cleveleys that asbestos has been found in the former Tesco building. Local chatter has it that the building owner is refusing to pay for it’s removal and so Iceland have pulled out of the deal.

Not to be content with gossip, Visit Cleveleys went straight to the horse’s mouth this morning. We asked our friendly contact there if the speculation could be confirmed or denied. Here’s what he said:

Update from Iceland regarding Tesco Cleveleys

So there you have it, “nothing has changed” and Iceland are yet to finalise a deal on the vacant Tesco building in Cleveleys. We’ll keep our fingers are toes crossed that it goes through.

Not Quite Iceland…

When we passed the former Tesco store just before Christmas it looked like a building site, with the interior fabric of the building literally being stripped to the walls.

Building site formerly known as Tesco Cleveleys. 19.12.18
Building site formerly known as Tesco Cleveleys. 19.12.18

Bemused that  a retailer would do so much work upon leaving a building, Visit Cleveleys got back in touch with our contact at Iceland and asked the question. The Director of Corporate Affairs replied to say “I have just checked with our property director and the work you have seen is being carried out by Tesco as they strip out the store, rather than by us. We have not yet finalised a deal to open in Cleveleys, but he remains optimistic that we will do so in due course. I promise to keep you posted.”

As soon as we have any news you will be the first to know!

Drum Roll and Fanfare… the Future for Cleveleys Tesco

Urban rumours have circulated for weeks about what the future is for Cleveleys Tesco. The community is, understandably, on tenterhooks at the passing of an important store which was a reason for people to visit the town. Indeed, town centre retailers are all reporting a significant drop in foot-fall since the store closed. Except the supermarkets – they’re rammed out as customers displace elsewhere.

Anyway, our curiosity is killing us here at Visit Cleveleys, after a snoop around the building and a chat with the shop fitters who are emptying the store. It’s stripped back to the walls and the old freezers were stood in the middle of the floor awaiting transport when we took this photo on 20.11.18 –

Cleveleys Tesco stripped out

Will it or won’t it be Iceland?

We decided that enough was enough and it was time to go straight to the horses mouth and ask Iceland themselves. So that’s what we did.

Email to Iceland about Cleveleys Tesco

Good news for Christmas!

Drumroll and fanfare, we received a reply last night, confirming that Iceland do indeed hope to open a store here next year –

Email from Iceland hoping to open in Cleveleys Tesco

So there you have it. What a relief. We’ll keep you posted on future developments.

It’s really good news for Cleveleys town centre. It’s a different type of store to the existing supermarkets, with an offering between the discount food chains and Marks and Spencer.

Fingers crossed that whatever details remain can be resolved, and we will be able to welcome our new retailer to town next year.

Other publishers: we’d appreciate it if you could name Visit Cleveleys as the source of your information if you report this story, thanks!

Last Day for Cleveleys Tesco

Published Saturday 3 November 2018

So this is it. Many years of trading and being part of the community comes to an end this weekend. Saturday 3 November 2018 is the last day of trading at Cleveleys Tesco Metro. Visit Cleveleys popped in on Friday to take some photos of it before the doors finally shut, to catch whatever staff we could in a photo, and wish them well.

Good luck to the staff from Tesco
Store closing notice
Tesco on Friday 2.11.18
The shelves a couple of weeks ago…
The shop just about empty on 2.11.18
What a shame

The good news is that a number of the staff will be moving to Wilkinsons in the coming days/weeks.

This is the photo which we really wanted, all of the staff on their last day, which we have unashamedly taken from Thornton Cleveleys Chat

Staff on the last day, closure of Cleveleys Tesco
Staff on the last day, closure of Cleveleys Tesco

What Next after the Closure of Cleveleys Tesco?

That’s the million dollar question. The closure of the store and what’s going to happen to the unit next is currently the mystery of the year. It’s right up there with deep space and the disappearance of Lord Lucan.

The town centre rumour mill has it that Iceland are coming back to Cleveleys and it is they who have been negotiating with the landlord. Fingers crossed that is correct, as it would be a good outcome after months of uncertainty.

The news of the shops closure was confirmed to staff on Friday 3 August 2018. The alarming thing about it is that it feels like the thin end of the wedge. It’s one, single big shop which was worth having, and worth coming into Cleveleys for. It’s one of the anchor stores which give people a reason to come to town. Once they are here they spend with other retailers. Tesco had been running the stock down in the shop for about a month before they closed. In that time alone, other retailers have reported a significant drop in their footfall. That’s before it’s even closed.

We care about our town

It’s not been about looking after the ‘Tesco’ brand and propping up a multi-national. We all know that they backed themselves into a corner with their finances and this is probably the fall-out from that. What we’re bothered about is our town, that shop unit, the staff who work there and the footfall that it attracts.

It’s been clear right from the start that the community of Cleveleys want to fight to keep the vibrancy of our high street, and between us we’ve certainly made a noise.

Cleveleys Coastal Community Team is working hard to make our town an attractive destination that people want to visit, one where they have a great experience and want to come back. It needs all of the retailers, local people and visitors to join in, so that we can resist the decline happening elsewhere. Will you do your bit?

Does the closure of Cleveleys Tesco Metro spell the arrival of Jacks Discount Chain?

Published 13 September 2018

Well, it’s all been deathly quiet on the western front regarding the closure of Tesco. What we do know is that the store will close on 4 November, and all of the staff have been told.

Other than that, everyone is remaining tight lipped. It’s been impossible to get anything from behind the wall of silence that surrounds landlords, letting agents and Tesco themselves.

Another subject that was discussed several times is the possibility of our Tesco Metro being one of the stores that’s being converted into the new Tesco value chain called ‘Jacks’.

David McDonald posted an article (below) from the Retail Gazette. 60 conversions is quite a lot out of 172 Metro stores, so fingers crossed that Wednesday 19 September 2018 brings good news for Cleveleys! It would also explain why the store is closing on 4 November – it’s hopefully for a refit and not to disappear.

Does the closure of Cleveleys Tesco Metro spell the arrival of Jacks discount chain?
Does the closure of Cleveleys Tesco Metro spell the arrival of Jacks discount chain?

The first ‘Jacks’ will be unveiled by Tesco Chief Exec Dave Lewis, in Chatteris, Cambridgeshire, on Wednesday. It’s been closed for 4 years since their store opening programme was mothballed in 2014. Tesco has named the stores ‘Jacks’ after the founder, Jack Cohen. It’s their next tactic to regain market share from the discount food retailers including Aldi and Lidl – and we’ve got both names here in Cleveleys.

Closure of Cleveleys Tesco – and what might happen next

Retail is changing all over the UK. Hefty town centre rents, the burden of business rates, all of the overheads that must be met, all combine to make running a shop an expensive occupation. Match that against the convenience of supermarkets, out-of-town centres and of course the internet and town centres have a struggle on their hands. A lot of familiar, household names have closed their doors recently or are currently in trouble. No one can be complacent.

Town centres must offer something else, become a destination, an experience in their own right. You don’t have to look far to see what can happen – what we DON’T want to happen here. Cleveleys Coastal Community Team, formed in Spring 2017, went back to basics and started sorting out the practical problems which Cleveleys has got. A lot of headway has been made with a small team of volunteers – but there’s still a lot that could be done. Why don’t you join in?

Without shops like Tesco, there’s a possibility that eventually people won’t come into Cleveleys at all. Then the independents will really suffer. Buying shopping in the butchers, bakers and candlestick makers is a lovely idea, but lets face it, it’s not going to be the way to shop of choice for everyone, and the ones who will already do support their locals. If Tesco has to go, we can at least try and influence who comes here next and show that there is support for a similar retailer. Lets see if we can make a positive outcome from this – rather than the shop ending up carved into three small units that eventually become… more charity shops. 

So what can we DO?

Sitting back and keeping quiet will achieve nothing. If the community displays unity and support for a single retailer of a similar nature taking over the tenancy there is more chance that another one will. We can only do our best. Would you be willing and able to do any part of this campaign?

  • Join the Save Cleveleys Tesco Facebook Group – it’s a simple way to create a loud voice
  • Come to a street meeting at the Care for Cleveleys Clean Up on Tuesday 7 August from 10am
  • Hand out Save our Supermarket leaflets
  • Join a demonstration in the town centre
  • Contact the Landlord
  • Contact other names who might want to move to Cleveleys. Co-op and Iceland have both been suggested.

How the News about the Closure of Cleveleys Tesco Unfolded

On 2 August 2018 the Blackpool Gazette ran an article saying the closure of Cleveleys Tesco had been confirmed.

Closure of Cleveleys Tesco
Closure of Cleveleys Tesco, Blackpool Gazette 2.8.18

The retailer is known to have been in negotiations with the landlord and owner of the premises for some time regarding the rent, and apparently those discussions have drawn a blank. (The rent being charged by the owner of the building, entirely separate to business rates).

The Cleveleys town centre premises are listed online as being available for rent.

Behind the scenes, we are trying to do what we can to see whether there’s anything to be done to influence the decision:

  • A few weeks ago Visit Cleveleys contacted the Tesco Cleveleys store for a comment, but no reply has been received yet.
  • We have contacted the national and then regional Communications Team at Tesco for their comments. We will let you know when we receive a response.
  • The Economic Development Team at Wyre Council have been asked if they are able to have any influence.
  • Does it make any difference that Cleveleys is a Coastal Community Team area?
  • Paul Maynard MP has been asked to look into it (see below)

Comment on the Closure of Cleveleys Tesco

Paul Maynard MP posted the following response on his Facebook page on 3.4.18:

Paul Maynard MP comment on the Closure of Cleveleys Tesco
Paul Maynard MP comment on the Closure of Cleveleys Tesco

“I’m disappointed to hear the news about Tesco Metro in Cleveleys. I have been in contact with the company this morning and have been promised that every effort will be made to place staff in other stores and give them all necessary support.

“This will clearly have an impact on the high street and on choice for shoppers in Cleveleys. I have already contacted the Chief Executive of Tesco UK asking the company to make a commitment to Cleveleys, even if it is not in the current location.”

Closure of Cleveleys Tesco will be a big blow to the town

Tesco has been right at the centre of the town of Cleveleys for as many years as we can all care to remember.

We think that the block which houses Tesco, Boots and the phone shop (formerly the Eating House cafe) was built in 1970. (Does anyone know if that’s correct? If you do please let us know). 

Tesco has occupied that shop unit since the block was built. Originally there was an upstairs to the shop, with electricals and homeware. It was accessed by an escalator where the cigarette kiosk is now.

It’s popular with people who live in the vicinity and shop in the town centre, with both residents and visitors. Since Cleveleys is a retirement area, the store is also very popular with the towns older residents. Many of them haven’t got cars and are unable to do a week’s heavy shopping in an out-of-town supermarket, and instead buy things bit by bit. It’s also central and easy to access.

Reason for the Closure of Cleveleys Tesco

On Friday 3 August 2018, Tesco Cleveleys was closed briefly at the start of the days trading for a staff meeting. Those who were on duty assembled to be told that it was official, that the store is to close. Those who weren’t in work were phoned and given the news.

It was confirmed that the reason is because negotiations regarding the rent have broken down. There are two versions of why: that the owner of the building has increased the rent and Tesco are unwilling to pay, and that Tesco has asked for a rent reduction which the landlord is unwilling to meet.

No official statement has been made as to which is the correct version. However, a source did say that they’d spoken to Tesco on the day that news broke and they had been told that a rent reduction had been refused.

It’s also been confirmed that the last trading day is 4 November 2018.

Store to let

Property Agents Morgan Martin have the Tesco Cleveleys store listed as To Let on their website.

The details state:

Prime Retail Unit

41-45 Victoria Road West, CLEVELEYS, FY5 1BS

As a whole: Ground Floor 10,000 sq ft – First Floor 10,000 sq ft
Capable of sub-division: Ground Floor (three) units from 1,500 sq ft
First Floor: Suitable for Leisure Use subject to planning

Rateable Value: £193,000.00

Debate has raged on Facebook for some weeks about whether this is a stand-off between the landlords and Tesco. Now our fears have been confirmed.

Whatever the reason, shoppers and staff alike certainly don’t want the store to close. It’s an anchor store for Cleveleys which draws people in to the town centre.

The Tesco Direct website also stopped trading from 9 July 2018. More than 500 jobs are at risk at the distribution centre in Milton Keynes. With the running costs, together with the cost of fulfilling orders, it was failing to make a profit.

Save Cleveleys Tesco

Here at Visit Cleveleys we decided to take matters into our own hands. While we were waiting for official confirmation from the Comms person at Tesco HQ, we set up a Save Cleveleys Tesco Facebook Group

It gives us mere mortals who shop there and rely on the town centre to make our feelings known.

What we can actually DO to influence the decision may be limited. But we can certainly make a noise and register our displeasure.

Closure of Cleveleys Tesco
Join the ‘Save Cleveleys Tesco’ Facebook group

Join the group and let’s at least give a show of strength. We might not be able to persuade Tesco HQ and the landlord that closing Cleveleys Tesco isn’t a good idea. But at least we can try.

This is a fight that people power really might be able to influence. There’s one thing for certain, if you do nothing, you’ll get nothing. 

So join the fight against the closure of Cleveleys Tesco and join the group.

While you’re here…

Have a look at the Visit Cleveleys website homepage for more of the latest updates.

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What do you think? Leave a comment

  1. Avatar

    Tesco has been seen off by Aldi and Lidl. We need is a big chain there who can compete. Iceland is probably the best bet. Start a petition here, or publish the contact details for iceland. An alternative would be to get Wyre to take it over and turn it into a market hall. We had two and they have been missed. Having said that, they will probably have to look at how other markets are faring first.

  2. Avatar

    Tesco are closing the cleveleys store because the landlord has put the rent up and won’t negotiate with Tesco in this. It will not be a Jacks store

    1. Avatar

      Well our sources said Tesco themselves had told them that they had asked for a rent reduction and the Landlord had refused… time will tell!

  3. Avatar

    Several times we have read that Tesco have asked the Landlord for a rent reduction. There has never been any mention of seeking a reduction in the Business Rates. For the payment of rent, the tenant gets the use of the building to operate their business; what does the tenant get in return for the Business Rates demanded? The tenant gets sweet fanny nothing for rates, not even a bin emptied. Perhaps its time to petition the powers that be for a RATES reduction instead.

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