A BAKERY with a strong Hartlepool presence is closing one of its town centre stores.
But no-one will lose their jobs despite the closure of the Greggs branch, on the first floor of the Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, in the town centre.
Instead, bosses of the popular bakery chain have confirmed that all of the staff would be deployed at other local branches.
The branch will close this Saturday although the outlets on the ground floor level in the same shopping centre will remain open.
Bosses said the move to close the Hartlepool branch was part of a Greggs policy which would apply over the next two to three years.
A spokesman for Greggs said: “Our priority for the next two to three years is to improve the quality of our existing estate and we are currently reshaping it through a combination of shop relocations, re-formatting and some shop closures.
“Regrettably I can confirm that our upper level Middleton Grange Shopping Centre shop will be closing on Saturday, November 9.”
The spokesman added: “All shop team members have been redeployed locally.
“Greggs customers will still be able to buy their favourite Greggs products from our ground level shops.”
Greggs’ sales records show the pattern improved in the 13 weeks to September 28, with total sales up 3.6 per cent year-on-year.
Like-for-like sales were down 0.5 per cent in the 13 week period, an improvement on the 2.9 per cent decline in the first half of the year.
Greggs is immensely popular in town.
As well as three branches in the Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, another one opened last year at the former Powlett pub just beyond the town centre.
And back in 2008, Hartlepool gained a unique claim to fame when it become the first town in the region to have a branch of Greggs opened up to serve an industrial estate, in this case at the junction of Brenda Road and the A689.
At the time, a spokesman said: “Hartlepool is right in the heartland for us and people here love our products, especially the cheese pasties and sausage rolls.”
A further branch is in Catcote Road, in Hartlepool, and Greggs also has two branches in Peterlee, one in the town centre in Billingham.