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Ramsden Group swoops for Fiveways location to develop new convenience store

Up to 13 new jobs are to be created following the acquisition of a shop and empty neighbouring building by the Grimsby-based Ramsden Group.

The company has purchased Today’s Extra News & Booze Fiveways from owner Hitesh Patel, together with the adjoining shop, which previously traded as a chemist.

It is less than 700m along Park Street from the Ramsdens Superstore, which is set to close in April.

The company plans to redevelop the site, across the junction of Queen Mary Avenue and Carr Lane, Cleethorpes, combining both units to create a 3,000 sq ft convenience store in what is a densely populated neighbourhood.

The intention is to also relocate the post office from within the superstore, subject to a successful public consultation.

A spokesman said the new jobs will include part-time and full-time positions, and it will trade under the banner of Today’s Extra. It will continue to be supplied by Dee Bee, the Ramsden Group’s cash and carry arm, which has traded successfully in Grimsby, from Adam Smith Street, for more than 50 years.

Ramsden Group is also in the process of opening a mirrored wholesale business in Hull.

Mr Patel said he would now be concentrating on other shops he owns in the Grimsby area.

Convenience shopping has enjoyed a huge upturn since the recession first struck, with the weekly “big shop” being replaced with several trips for smaller purchases, by many families. Twinned with the rise of the discounters, it has seen market share dwindle for the big four retailers, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons in recent years.

The growth of Aldi and the small-model Tesco Express – either side of Ramsdens on the main Grimsby to Cleethorpes thoroughfare – are understood to have been part of the reason why the first superstore in the town was no longer sustainable, forcing the hand of the Ramsden Group directors. This move looks to mark a change in strategic direction when it comes to food sales.

The superstore itself is to make way for a new multi-million pound retail development off Cleethorpe Road after 70 years of trading, in a partnership with Wykeland Group. Almost half of the people affected by the anticipated 40 job losses have been offered alternative employment within the wider business.

Ramsdens’ decorating department will be saved, and rehoused in the separate Home Interiors store, further up Cleethorpe Road, which will continue to trade, unaffected by the move.