Shoppers lament Franklins closure

FRANKLINS shoppers and employees remained in shock yesterday after the announcement the store will shut its doors on February 1, effectively cutting 31 jobs.

Despite a claim by a Metcash spokesman that employees were told "before Christmas" of the closure, an employee who didn't wish to be named told a different story.

"We were only told a few days ago," the tearful employee told the Advertiser.

"But we knew it was only a matter of time after the Leeton store closed [in November], we knew we were next."

The closure has disappointed long-time Franklins shoppers with Gumly resident Bev Pollard saying it would be sad to see it go.

"Coming here has been part of my routine for years," Mrs Pollard said.

"I suppose I'll just have to find somewhere new to shop."

The closure comes after Metcash brought 90 Franklins supermarkets in 2011 from Pick n Pay for $215 million.

Their intention was to sell some of the stores to independent operators.

That objective was not met for its Peter Street store as a spokesman for Metcash reiterated its position to the Advertiser yesterday, saying the closure was made on purely "commercial grounds".

Wagga Business Chamber manager Larry Buete said he was disappointed with the Franklins store disappearing from Wagga's retail sector.

"It's a shame because it just means less competition for consumers," he said.

"And we like to see business thrive in Wagga."

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