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Telford mobility retailer up for sale

By Thom Kennedy | Wellington | Business | Published:

An independent living store in Telford has been put up for sale as part of a move by a healthcare provider to shed its retail arms.

Simplyhealth is to close 10 retail stores in its Unlimited Company arm, while five of its Care and Mobility branded stores – including in Telford – will remain open while it looks to sell that part of the business.

A total of 85 employees are affected by the move, and the company said it will be "exploring the options available to them".

Romana Abdin, chief executive of Simplyhealth said: “This is not the outcome we wanted when we created The Unlimited Company proposition.

"It was a very difficult decision to make, not just taking into account the thousands of customers that we have helped but because our own people will be affected. However, we remain committed to ensuring that people who need help with mobility or caring get the best advice and products possible.

“As someone with a disability myself I know there is a need for better support networks for people. Unfortunately it has become clear that physical shops are not a viable way forward for Simplyhealth and from a business viewpoint we have to ensure we look at better ways of providing people with the support they need.”

Five stores under the Care and Mobility banner, which as well as the Wrekin Road branch in Wellington include others in Kenilworth, Northfield in Birmingham, Willenhall, and Wylde Green in Sutton Coldfield, will stay open while the possible sales is considered.

The 10 others that will close are in Andover, Bristol, Bicester, Blackburn, Burnham, Droitwich, Leeds, Morton Park in Darlington, Norwich and Radstock in Somerset.

Raman Sankaran, chief commercial officer for Simplyhealth, took over day-to-day running of The Unlimited Company in July 2017 and has led a planned review of the business.

He said: “We understand that health and care is one journey for customers and we will continue to focus on how best to meet their needs, both on our own, and by working with partners.

"Our new online eldercare guidance and advice proposition, Care for Life, which we launched as an employee benefit last week, is just one example of how we’re aiming to meet changing healthcare needs by being innovative and collaborative.”

Thom Kennedy

By Thom Kennedy
Business Editor - @tkennedy_star

Shropshire Star Business Editor

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