Stretford Foodhall announces shock closure with ‘great sadness and torment’
Oh wow this is a big one.
Stretford Foodhall, a local favourite that’s been at the heart of an entire town centre’s regeneration, has announced its shocking and sudden closure.
The business, which is part retailer and part food hall, said that it has been a ‘tortuous few years’ and that it will be closing for good next week.
Stretford Foodhall is part of the General Stores group, perhaps best-known for operating Ancoats General Store.
While the bulk of the business has always been about crafting the region’s ‘coolest cornershops’, where you can browse local produce and products alongside your usual essentials, Stretford Foodhall was a new offering entirely.
A huge portion of their site on the edge of Stretford Mall was given over to a dining space, with an ever-rotating selection of local traders taking up residence in the kitchens.
Stretford Foodhall was quickly award-winning and has often been praised for helping to kick-start the area’s regeneration.
But they have now written that they have ‘no more left in the tank’ and will close for good on Sunday 11 February.
In a lengthy statement, signed by founder Mital Morar, they wrote that they had had problems from their opening in 2019, when they were ‘too busy with not enough seats’.
Stretford Foodhall then said it never properly recovered from the impact of Covid, which struck less than a year after its launch.
Mital’s open letter stated: “We are acutely aware, on this journey of survival, we have let some people down. We apologise unreservedly for this and hope to make right one day.”
It continued by praising its ‘individual and amazing’ staff, and thanking all the many food traders, pop ups, breweries, and artists who have been part of the journey over the last five years.
Stretford Foodhall’s statement concluded: “As a Manchester born and bred business, local and independent, our confidence and Ikigai (as Masako once taught us) has been knocked. It has been a tortuous few years. But we get up and fight daily. Whilst we are closing, we haven’t given up. We look forward to serving you again one day… for now see us at @generalstores_.”
The news of the closure comes less than a year after the group shut down its Sale Foodhall.
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Stretford Foodhall’s statement in full
Dear Stretford, we have some news.
It comes with great sadness and torment that we have decided to close on Sunday 11th February 2024
Opening in 2019 to much risk and applaud we very quickly had problems! We were too busy, didn’t have enough seats and had to evolve very quickly. A good problem! For all the naysayers, Stretford supported us and we couldn’t have been happier.
We hadn’t even traded one year and along came covid and changed all that. We haven’t ever really recovered. Whilst trading through, winning awards, doing takeaway food and coffee, we evolved as much as we could with what we could post covid. Entering inflation, cost of living crisis and this crazy enduring energy situation… we have no more left in the tank.
We continue to be involved with the GMCA dialogue to support them in lobbying government for change in the hospitality sector. Too many friends are suffering and we stand with you.
We are very concious of our strengths and weaknesses. We are very concious of the current environment and we have tried our best with all the headwinds to make a go of it and keep going for the greater good. We are grateful for the support from our customers, our relationships with food traders and suppliers. We appreciate BRUNTWOOD who helped where they could and we have no doubt the new and final vision will deliver the goods. Sadly, our part in this journey cannot continue.
We are acutely aware, on this journey of survival, we have let some people down. We apologise unreservedly for this and hope to make right one day. As you know, our roots are embedded in retail. We will continue on this journey and navigate this tough environment there.
This message is written by Mital, as Proprietor. This closure isn’t a reflection of our colleagues in branch, they too have endured a tough ride of uncertainty and changing decisions day to day. We have had to become an operation we don’t aspire to be and this too cannot continue. We Thank You for your service and will support your roles and continuity as best we can. You are all individual and amazing and we wish you only the best for the future.
We would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to all the food traders, creatives, pop ups, breweries, artists and more who have engaged and explored this road with us in Stretford. Our warmest wishes to our business neighbours and community friends who have humbled us with your friendship. We will meet again one day.
As a Manchester born and bred business, local and independent, our confidence and Ikigai (as Masako once taught us) has been knocked. It has been a tortuous few years. But we get up and fight daily. Whilst we are closing, we haven’t given up. We look forward to serving you again one day… for now see us at @generalstores_
Thank You Thank You…
Mital & Family
Featured image: Publicity picture