Co-op dismisses rumours that they are set to take over the former Sainsbury’s site in Fulwell

Supermarket chain Co-op has dismissed online rumours that it is set to take over a former Sunderland Sainsbury’s site – with the future of the building still uncertain.

Tuesday, 7th June 2022, 1:44 pm

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The former Sainsbury’s supermarket, on Station Road, has stood empty since it was closed in October last year, prompting hundreds of residents signing a petition to keep it as a retail outlet.

Since the popular store closed, rumours have been circulating about wha the site will be next, with Waitrose confirming to the Echo at the end of March that they are not considering taking over the site.

Over the bank holiday weekend, rumours surfaced in local Facebook community groups that the Co-op were the next retailer set to open a new store at the site.

The former Sainsbury's store, on Station Road, has stood empty since October last year.

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However on Tuesday, June 7, the supermarket chain confirmed to the Echo that the online rumours are not true and they will not be opening a store on the Station Road site.

It follows the Co-op’s decision to sell one of their Sunderland stores on North Moor Road in March this year, with all the staff transferring to a new retailer.

A spokesperson from NECR said: “Lofthouse and Partners have been instructed on this site since before Sainsbury’s announced they were closing the store.

“Once Sainsbury’s served notice, a targeted marketing campaign began immediately which resulted in new tenants being secured (subject to contract and planning approval) with the hope the property will be reoccupied and trading later this year.

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"We appreciate the concerns of the local community but we have been unable to comment on speculation until Sainsbury’s exit from the property had been agreed. These discussions were concluded last week which means enabling works can now commence.

“We hope to deliver two new tenants to the site who will improve the retail amenity for the residents of Fulwell which has always been the goal for the owners.”