Skip to content

Exclusive: Booths is leaving Hale Barns after nine years - with a new retailer set to move in

The Preston-headquartered retailer has admitted it "cannot see a future where the store will be profitable".

Booths on Hale Road in Hale Barns

Booths is to end its presence in Hale Barns after nine years - with Asda set to move in.

The Preston-headquartered retailer has admitted it "cannot see a future where the store will be profitable".

The 30,000 sq ft store opened in April 2015 as the anchor tenant of the Hale Barns Square development, but has struggled to attract the expected footfall.

It has now begun a consultation process with staff at the Hale Road store with a view to transfering the property lease to budget supermarket chain Asda.

No closing date has been confirmed yet by Booths, although Altrincham Today understands it could be as soon as April.

Under a TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment rights) process, all jobs will be protected and transferred to the new retailer.

A statement from Booths to Altrincham Today said: "Booths have begun a consultation process with their colleagues at the Hale Barns store relating to a forthcoming transfer of the property lease for the store to ASDA.

"Since opening in 2015 we have worked hard to refine the offer and improve performance at Hale Barns, but the challenges of significantly increased operating costs have meant that we cannot see a future where the store will be profitable under the Booths model.

"It is anticipated that all jobs will be protected and transferred to ASDA (via TUPE) during this consultation process.

Asda opened its Broadheath store in September 2015

"Closing any store is a very difficult decision and it is not a reflection of the hard work and dedication of our team at Hale Barns, or across the wider Booths business.

"Booths would like to thank all colleagues and customers for their support since the store opened over eight years ago. We would also like to provide some reassurance that we have no plans to exit any of our other stores."

Booths' Hale Barns store had been the bedrock of the redeveloped Hale Barns Square development when it opened in April 2015.

The scheme to redevelop the Square was approved by Trafford's planning committee back in March 2011 after five years of development wrangling.

The 30,000 square foot tore was officially opened by company chairman Edwin Booth and 103-year-old customer Lillian Barrow, who had shopped at Booths for nearly 60 years.

Today's shock news comes just weeks after Booths announced record Christmas results.

The family-owned business saw like-for-like retail sales increasing 8.7% in the key three-week trading period ending January 6th, reporting a record seven-day Christmas week sales level which was up 8.3% on last year.

However, its its most recent full-year figures, both sales and profits fell as a result of wage and cost inflation.

Sales at the supermarket fell 3.2% to £287.3m in the year to April 2023, according to accounts published at Companies House. Gross profits fell 19.3% to £29.7m.

Overall, it has 28 stores located throughout the North of England. 

The Hale Barns site would represent Asda's second main store in Altrincham, having opened a purpose-built store in Broadheath in September 2015.

An Asda spokesperson said: "Asda is delighted to announce we have acquired the property lease for Booths' Hale Barns store. The colleagues currently employed by Booths at this store will move to Asda's employment under TUPE transfer in the coming months during a consultation process.

"We look forward to welcoming our new Asda colleagues and sharing more details on our plans to bring great Asda value to the local community in the near future."