Aldi set for Diss and hopeful of winter opening

Diss, Norfolk. The Co-Operative Food Store in Diss
Diss, Norfolk. The Co-Operative Food Store in Diss

Diss could see an Aldi store in the town by the winter after it was confirmed the discount grocer will take over the Co-operative store in Mere Street.

The Diss Express broke the news in January the two national chains were in talks over the future of the premises. An Aldi spokesperson said the store will look to employ local people through recruitment days, and hope to open in the fourth quarter of this year.

The Co-op will close on Saturday, March 22. A spokesperson said they would try to redeploy as many of the 37 staff as possible, or find them alternative employment.

A spokesperson from Aldi said: “We are pleased to announce that we have reached an agreement with The Co-operative to open a new Aldi store on Mere Street, Diss.

“Due to an extensive refurbishment and refit programme, the store will re-open in the fourth quarter of 2014.

“Aldi will be looking to recruit people from the local area to work within the store. Recruitment days will be promoted in the local press and on the site throughout the summer.”

A spokesperson for the Co-op said: “We can confirm that we have finalised the sale of our Mere Street store in Diss to Aldi, and that the store will close on Saturday, 22 March.

“Staff were informed last week, on Wednesday, 12 February, and every effort is being made to redeploy as many as possible of the 37 store colleagues, either with The Co-operative or to help them find alternative employment.

“We would like to thank the store team for their hard work, and our shoppers for their valued custom over the years.”

While reader feedback has been positive in the main, commercial property expert Oliver Chapman, of TW Gaze, told the Diss Express in January that only time will tell whether the arrival of Aldi will benefit the town.

"It is the way the market is at the moment," he explained. "Aldi are on the expansion trail. Whether it is good or not for the town remains to be seen.

“Everyone knows where Co-op is, formerly Somerfield, and it is convenient to get to. It is well positioned."

n What do you think? Are you happy that Aldi have been confirmed to take over the Mere Street store? Do you sympathise with the 37 staff losing their jobs? Get in touch - email, Tweet us @Diss_Express or write to us at the address on page 8.