Store’s site is for sale for £66.5 – but jobs are safe

Rustington's Sainsbury's
Rustington's Sainsbury's

LEAKED documents have revealed the landlord of Rustington’s largest superstore, Sainsbury’s, is selling the site – for at least £66.5m.

Bidders are being sought to purchase the freeholding of the land from current owners Store Property Investments Ltd.

However, in spite of the potential sale, Sainsbury’s has been quick to stress that no jobs at the 133,400 sq ft site will be in danger, if there is a change of hands of the freeholding.

David Mills, Sainsbury’s head of property communications, said jobs and the store’s future were secured by the current lease agreement, which will expire in 29 years.

He explained: “We currently have a long-term lease agreement on our Sainsbury’s store in Rustington.

“The landlord has decided to sell the freehold. However, our colleagues and customers would not be affected as our lease agreement would remain in place and we remain committed to our new and improved store, which is trading fantastically well.”

Agents Colliers Inter-national has compiled the 12-page document outlining the benefits of purchasing the store.

The document states that new landlords wishing to purchase the freehold of the site, at the Rustington Retail Park, in New Road, would be paid more than £2.9m by the superstore in yearly rental.

However, this figure would increase from February, 2018, and then every five years after that.

The Gazette approached Store Property Investments Ltd, which owns most of Rustington’s shopping precinct, for a comment.

However, the company declined to make any official statement at this time.

Last year, Sainsbury’s demolished its old store to begin work on its new site.

The new facility has been well received by the local community.

When it was opened, in October, last year, hundreds of customers turned out to become the first to shop inside the high-tech superstore.

As part of the refurbishment works, Sainsbury’s created scores of new jobs.

The new store created 178 new jobs, in addition to the 262 existing roles at the previous store.

A spokeswoman for the retail giant added: “We have absolutely no intention of closing the store and there is no danger of any jobs being lost. We’re trading fantastically.“

The spokeswoman added: “This is a process which isn’t uncommon. It happens quite a lot but the public won’t always hear about it. But there won’t be any visible effect for customers or staff.”

“It happens quite a lot but the public won’t always hear about it. But there won’t be any visible effect for customers or staff.”