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Waitrose eyes up Botley Road Halfords site
11:00am Friday 4th January 2013 in News
WAITROSE has confirmed it is looking at opening a store in Oxford’s Botley Road.
The supermarket is considering taking over the Halfords and former MFI site and has been in talks with Oxford City Council.
A Waitrose spokesman said the site was among a number of locations in the city. He added: “It’s no secret that we are keen to build on our presence in Oxford in the future and are continuing to explore opportunities that would allow us to achieve that.”
The Botley Road site is becoming vacant because Halfords is poised to move to a new unit in nearby Lamarsh Road.
Furniture retailer MFI closed its store on the site at the end of 2008 after going into administration.
There is already a branch of low-cost food retailer Aldi further along Botley Road, and a Co-op, Tesco Express and Iceland in the West Way shopping centre in Botley, but a new Waitrose would be the first large supermarket in the area. It opened its first store in Oxford in 2009, when it took over the Somerfield store in Headington.
It also has branches in Wallingford, Witney, Thame, Wantage and Abingdon.
West Oxford residents welcomed the news, but expressed concerns over traffic and the impact on local shops.
Labour ward councillor Susanna Pressel said: “People are torn between their concern about another supermarket on poor Botley Road and their desire to have a Waitrose. One other worry is our much-loved shop Eggs Eggsetera.”