THE SimplyFresh food store in the Kingfisher Shopping Centre has closed down, less than three months after opening.
The upmarket grocery store, hailed as a replacement for the much missed Marks & Spencer food hall, was situated right by the entrance to car park 2 opposite The Range.
With a bakery, fresh fruit and veg – much freshly picked from Mudwalls farm near Alcester – ready meals, a cafe and much more, at its launch it seemed the perfect fit to fill the gap left by M&S.
The store was backed by Next and the Kingfisher itself but seemed to struggle to attract shoppers.
Speaking of the store’s closure, Ken Williams, Kingfisher shopping centre manager, said: “We are extremely disappointed to learn of the liquidation of SimplyFresh Kingfisher which has resulted in it closing its doors permanently.
“We appreciate that there are enormous economic pressures on all businesses at this current time and consequently we have provided a great deal of financial and management support for this new venture.
“We know this news will be disappointing for our guests but our search for a replacement convenience food store is underway.”
Council Leader Councillor Matt Dormer also voice his disappointment.
“It’s very sad – this was a new fresh idea and it was what people were crying out for,” he said.
“The Kingfisher listened, got a partner in and yet it doesn’t appear to have stuck.
“I don’t know the pressures SimplyFresh are under but it does feel a bit premature, and I massively sympathise with the staff.
“Let’s not talk the Kingfisher down either – it’s the reason many people visit Redditch to do their shopping.”
The closure of SimplyFresh comes as furlough comes to an end and the return of many office workers to the town centre.