Supermarket to leave Barking shopping centre in 2015

Supermarket chain Asda is planning to pull out of Vicarage Field shopping centre in 2015, it has emerged.

The UK retailer expects to leave the 60-store mall in Barking to move into a new multi-million pound retail hub 200 yards away in North Street.

The 200 Asda employees will transfer to the complex, set to comprise a new supermarket with 350 staff, five shops and 100 flats.

Shoppers can view plans at Asda Vicarage Field in Ripple Road today.

Vicarage Field shopping centre admitted that parting company with its largest retailer Asda could be a challenge, but hopes to fill the void with a non-food store.

Manager Simon Green said: “It gives us an opportunity for further development.

“We do not feel there is a requirement for an additional supermarket in the town centre.

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“It’s a challenge – it’s an issue. But the town centre needs extra retail units. We are in discussions with potential tenants.

“I think the proposed development is very attractive and a welcome improvement for the town centre.”

Developer Bouygues is planning to submit an application for the new complex in North Street this autumn.

The centrepiece would be the 40,000 sq ft Asda store and would have five surrounding units that could include cafes and shops.

A Bouygues spokesman said: “There will be no job losses and the new store will employ around 350 people – 200 from the existing store with 150 newly created jobs.”