Taj to close Kemp Town store with Sainsbury's expected to step in

Posted On 23 Nov 2010 at 2:57 pm

A popular independent grocery store in the heart of Brighton is to close at the end of the week with rumours growing that Sainsbury’s is to open on the site.

Taj, in St James’s Street, is due to shut on Friday although the owner has not ruled out a return to the area.

The staff in St James’s Street are expected to be kept on to work at the store in Western Road or Bedford Place, Brighton.

The Western Road store, opposite Waitrose, is expected to take over the vacant premises next door to expand.

Amir Khan, owner of the Taj group, said: “I would like to thank the whole of Kemp Town for their loyal support over the last three years.

“We consider ourselves to be very much part of the Brighton scene and hope to return to this area in the not too distant future.”

A spokesman for Sainsbury’s said: “We are looking to open a convenience store in the area but have no confirmed plans currently.”

Morrisons, Tesco and the Co-op all have stores in St James’s Street, already.

Chris Cooke, chairman of the St James’s Local Action Team, said: “Taj will be sorely missed on St James’s Street.

“On their prominent corner they were an exciting, colourful and very much a quality retailer that enticed customers to the area.

“In particular I must applaud them for being very much part of the community and l hope their remaining two stores continue to go from strength to strength.”

  1. steve Reply

    This is an absolute tragedy. Taj was a fantastic and inspiring place, as good for students on a tight budget as for foodies and chefs looking for unusual ingredients and ideas. It was a major asset to Kemptown. sainsburys, or any other big chain supermarket, would not be even close to a suitable replacement. My family all felt fortunate to have it nearby. Now we are extremely disappointed and will be every time we walk by. Gutted.

  2. ben Reply

    This is indeed a tragedy. Taj was such a fantastic place to have on the corner there. An institution for me. It gave St James street colour, and a market feel. The thought of it being replaced by a glass cube full of strip lights and plastic-wrapped vegetables is truly depressing.
    Another supermarket will pull St James street in exactly the wrong diriection.

  3. Lode Reply

    Oh for God’s sake. Are you all disabled? The Western Road shop is just a 15 minute walk away or 4 minute bike ride!!

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