Southchurch - closed branch (1982)

Waitrose Southchurch opened on 21st November 1967, recording a very good trade on its first day. The branch was situated about a mile east of Southend High Street, in a row of older small shops on the main road to Shoeburyness.

The branch closed on 24th April 1982, the reason being that it didn’t have the space to expand its assortment to meet new competition in its area.Customers expressed regret at the closure with some signing a petition asking that the shop remain open.

Due to the fact that Southchurch had no near neighbour, only four of the 49 Partners were able to transfer to Temple Fortune or Newmarket. Partners said farewell to friends and colleagues with a get-together a short time after closure.

Waitrose Southchurch c1975
Sam Lambert
Waitrose Southchurch publicity c1970
John Lewis Partnership archives
Waitrose Southchurch publicity c1970
John Lewis Partnership archives

Comments about this page

  • I worked there from March 68 to January 71,and remember Mr Johnson well. I have a lot of fond memories of when I worked there, and still remember a lot of the people who were there at that time.

    By Malcolm smith (22/07/2020)
  • I was seconded to this store from my DM role at Newmarket for the last few weeks before closure due to the Branch Manager Mr Johnson (I think that was his name was unwell). I remember the customers were very angry about the closure and anyone in a ‘suit’ was thought to be from Head Office and felt the full force of customers views. The Deputy Branch Manager a lovely lady Miss Scott was running the Branch in the absence of the BM and she did a fantastic job of keeping Partner’s morale high till closing day. Although Guntis Masters finally bought the store I showed several other potential buyers around one of whom wanted to call the store White Rose!! After the store closed I was required to work in the Branch after all the Partners had left for a further three weeks to answer the phone and deal with visitors, without doubt the most boring three weeks of my Partnership career.

    By Malcolm Domb (01/11/2012)
  • The store was sold to Guntis Masters who left Waitrose as Merchandising Director in order to purchase the store. I visited it before the sale to do some work (as Manager Layouts) on the shelf layout of its unique service counter Wines dept.

    By Terry Hammond (29/10/2012)

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