Iceland and Matalan won’t confirm or deny rumours

Exterior of Co-op in Cairnie Street.
Exterior of Co-op in Cairnie Street.

RUMOURS circulating in the town that frozen food giant Iceland is to acquire the Haldanes store at East Muirlands Road, Arbroath, and re-open in the town may be just that.

But there may be a grain of truth in the story doing the rounds.

When the retailer was forced to leave its outlet in the Abbeygate complex last summer, a spokesman for the company confirmed they would be moving out of the Abbeygate but said they were seeking alternative premises in Arbroath.

This week we asked Iceland about the Haldanes story and their response was: “Since our store in Arbroath closed we have been looking for new premises in the area and are continuing to do so.”

Which says not very much at all!

And a whisper that Matalan might move into the former Focus store at Westway Retail Park was greeted by a terse “No comment,” by the company.

Work has been ongoing at the former Focus outlet for the last few weeks, suggesting that a new occupier might be imminent.

The developer, John Carswell, also declined to comment.

However, word that The Co-operative is selling the Disco in Cairnie Street has proved to be true.

A spokesperson for The Co-operative Group said: “We can confirm that we have reached an agreement to sell our store in Cairnie Street, Arbroath, to an independent retailer as a going concern.

“Members of staff at the store, one full-time and seven part time, have been informed. Part-time staff will transfer to the new operator, with their terms and conditions of employment maintained, while the other member of staff will be redeployed to another Co-operative food store. The last day of trading as The Co-operative Food will be Friday, September 2.

“We are pleased to have concluded a deal which ensures employment for the staff, as well as a continuing service for the local community. We would like to thank our shoppers for their valued custom at Cairnie Street over the years.”

The spokesman concluded: “The Co-operative Group still has other food stores in the Arbroath area at Abbeygate Mall, Timmergreens, Mayfield Terrace, Millfield Road and Montrose Road.”