Retailers in the catchment of Longbridge are weathering the collapse of the MG Rover car plant as redundancy payments keep the community afloat.
Despite nearly 6,000 workers losing their jobs last month, nearby Spar retailers are reporting normal trading figures.
Elwyn Davies, retail director of Spar wholesaler AF Blakemore, said its two stores in the area - one just 300 yards away from the apparently doomed car plant - were holding up extremely well, and he remained optimistic.
“While things aren’t motoring away, the situation appears OK for the moment.
“It could be because people working at the plant actually live further out or because we’re still in the honeymoon period and redundancy pay-outs have
meant that non-income hasn’t kicked in,” said Davies.
A spokesman for Morrisons, which has a Safeway store nearby, said it was a case of “wait and see”.
Meanwhile, the future of a supermarket development on the Longbridge plant is in the balance. Last month, The Grocer revealed that Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury had all been eyeing the site, which could give way to a hypermarket.
However, an eleventh hour deal with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation could save 1,500 jobs and create a UK engineering base at Longbridge for the Chinese firm.
Rachel Barnes

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