WAITROSE has refused to listen to calls to postpone the closure of its Helensburgh supermarket until after the coronavirus pandemic has eased.

The supermarket chain's owners, the John Lewis Partnership, have been contacted by business chiefs, politicians and members of the public from Helensburgh, pleading with them to put off plans to shut the store in early May.

Concerns were raised with the firm that pressing ahead with the closure of the Cardross Road store might limit local residents' access to food and other essential supplies, in the event of the virtual 'lockdown' conditions introduced across the UK this week continuing into late spring and early summer.

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But in an email seen by the Advertiser, Sharon White, chair of the John Lewis Partnership, said: "I understand the concern about our Helensburgh store closing.

"It was a very difficult decision and was not taken lightly, recognising the impact on customers, the local community and our partners.

"We could not make the store commercially viable and I am afraid we are not reconsidering the decision."

READ MORE: Waitrose confirms its Helensburgh supermarket will close permanently in May

A spokesperson for Waitrose added: "We are very sorry that we will be unable to postpone the closure of our Helensburgh shop beyond May during this unprecedented and extremely challenging time.

"We will still offer an online grocery service for the area after we close and our partners are working tirelessly to ensure a good supply of food for everyone."

Argyll and Bute MP Brendan O'Hara said he was "deeply disappointed" at Waitrose's refusal to consider delaying the store's closure.

Full story, plus more reaction, in this week's print edition of the Advertiser – on sale from Thursday morning.

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