SUPERMARKET giant Sainsbury’s has apologised to Whitby residents after sparking fears it had pulled out of plans to open a store in the town.
It has had to respond to several calls and complaints from Whitby residents who had backed proposals for a Sainsbury’s in a bitter battle last year with rival supermarket Tesco also wanting to develop in the town.
Rumours had been circulating that Sainsbury’s were no longer going to build a store near Homebase on the industrial park especially as original plans suggested work should have been under way by now.
Last Thursday the public relations team acting for Sainsbury’s, local dialogue, sent letters to residents assuring them the development was still taking place.
But on Friday a member of staff from the Sainsbury’s customer services team sent an email to a Whitby resident which said “Unfortunately, we’ve taken the decision not to go ahead with the development of this store.”
On Wednesday Sainsbury’s issued a statement apologising for the confusion adding that an investigation was taking place to find out why the email had been sent.
Jo Try, the regional development surveyor at Sainsbury’s said: “I’d like to apologise for any confusion caused by the email sent by our customer services team and we’re investigating this matter further.
“The email was sent in error and was a genuine mistake.
“Therefore I sincerely apologise to the customer who received this information.
“I’d also like to take this opportunity to say Sainsbury’s is 100% committed to building a store in Whitby and there is no truth to any of the rumours that say otherwise.
“We hope to start construction of the new store early in 2012.”