Morrisons was the unwitting victim of a Twitter hoax aimed at residents of Tunbridge Wells this week.
CEO Dalton Philips has written to residents in the town after fake Twitter account @Morrisons_PLC taunted residents over a former Safeway store in Tunbridge Wells, which is owned by Morrisons and has stood empty since October 2005.
Anger over the empty site has increased in recent weeks as news emerged that a deal to sell the lease to Waitrose had fallen through, with local politicians accusing Morrisons of holding out for better terms.
After residents posted their concerns on Twitter, @Morrisons_PLC responded in a less than sympathetic tone. “We are sorry to hear that people of Tunbridge Wells are upset. Please express your opinions in a letter to head office,” said one post.
This prompted a series of furious responses, with the user replying: “Would like to remind you again, Morrisons Twitter will not be answering questions regarding the store.”
This week the account had the plug pulled by Twitter after Morrisons, whose Twitter username is @MorrisonsOffers, realised it had been hijacked.
“Those comments were certainly not our views,” a spokesman told the Grocer. “A number of people had emailed Dalton and he has told them he is aware of their concerns and that we are looking for a solution.”
He added: “We started being accused of deliberately wanting to keep the site empty, so our rivals can’t use it, which it not the truth at all. Talks are progressing.”