Woolworths at Murray Bridge Green will close in May 2018

The rumours were true: the Woolworths supermarket at the Murray Bridge Green shopping centre will close.

Its last day of trading will be May 27, 2018, ending Woolworths Limited’s 42-year association with the site.

The store's 75 staff were told about the company's decision on Tuesday.

All will keep their jobs and be redeployed "in other stores in the area", according to a Woolworths spokesperson.

However, it was still an emotional day for those who have worked there for years or decades.

In a statement, Woolworths thanked its customers for their support and said it looked forward to welcoming them at its Murray Bridge Marketplace store.

Popular speculation about the Murray Bridge Green store's closure had been rife since the Marketplace opened in November 2011.

The two centres are less than 250 metres apart.

But the company was still suggesting it would keep both stores open as recently as July, when The Standard asked after German chain Aldi's plans to open a store on Adelaide Road became public.

The owners of Murray Bridge Green, Leedwell Property, will now be under pressure to find a new anchor tenant for the northern half of the centre, where six of 16 stores are currently vacant.

Eateries, a Telstra shop and a sports store have all departed in recent years.

But Leedwell's John Savva said the certainty Woolworths' announcement had given was actually comforting.

"It has been very difficult with Woolworths because everyone hasn't known what the future will be, so no-one was really prepared to give a commitment (to a lease)," he said.

"We've been ... waiting for an outcome over the last couple of years.

"Now we know what we're doing."

He said discussions had already taken place with alternative tenants for the space, including supermarkets and "other possibilities", and that he believed there was enough demand for the abundant retail space available.

"We believe in the location,” he said.

“It's a central position in Murray Bridge that has a lot of exposure.”

Each of the city's other shopping centres also features a number of empty shops.


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