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Nervous wait for Pizza Express in Crawley as firm prepares for debt talks with creditors

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Another major restaurant could be the latest victim of changing conditions on the high street.

The chain has reportedly hired in financial advisers ahead of talks with creditors over huge mounted debts.

The company reported a 11% fall in pre-tax profit in the second quarter of the year.

The Chinese owned company is reported to have huge debts that have amounted as the chain has struggled to cope with the changing habits of shoppers.

There are also rumours that the debt could be as much as £1.6m per restaurant.

Pizza Express is currently refusing to comment on what they call ‘speculation’ around their appointing of creditors.

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Aldi looking to open second store in Crawley, but where is it going to be?

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The UK’s fifth largest supermarket has been on an expansion drive in recent years as it targets having 1,200 stores open by 2025.

Among the towns it hopes to open in are Bognor Regis, Littlehampton, and Worthing.

Most excitingly for locals here though, it also wants to build an additional store in Crawley as well as Brighton and Hastings.

Aldi, which currently has more than 880 stores across the UK, has identified 20 new locations where it is looking for freehold town-centre or edge-of-centre sites suitable for development.

It says each site should be around 1.5 acres and able to accommodate a 20,000 sq ft store with around 100 parking spaces, ideally on a prominent main road and with good visibility and access. 

With Morrisons leaving their town centre location speculation has turned to whether this will now be the perfect location for the second Aldi.

Ciaran Aldridge, National Property Director at Aldi UK, said:

“Aldi is growing rapidly and we are welcoming around a million new customers into our stores every year.

“But there are also hundreds of towns across the UK where there is not an Aldi, meaning there are hundreds of thousands of people who can’t easily access the high quality, affordable food our customers love.

“We are willing to explore all opportunities, including developer-led schemes or existing retail units.”

The full list of locations it is targeting in Sussex are:

  • Bexhill
  • Bognor Regis
  • Brighton
  • Burgess Hill
  • Chichester
  • Crawley
  • East Grinstead
  • Eastbourne
  • Goring-by-Sea
  • Hailsham
  • Hastings
  • Haywards Heath
  • Horsham
  • Littlehampton
  • Midhurst
  • Newhaven
  • Portslade
  • Shoreham
  • Uckfield
  • Worthing

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