Stretford Foodhall announces shock closure saying "we have no more left" in heartfelt statement

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The cost of living crisis and rising energy prices have proved too much.

After five years, Stretford Foodhall has announced it will be closing this month in a heartfelt statement, saying “we have no more left in the tank.”

The foodhall, which opened in 2019 in Stretford Mall, is home to a coffee shop, convenience store, plant shop and a rotating line-up of independent street food vendors. It is owned by entrepreneur Mital Morar’s Store Group, who also owned Sale Foodhall, which closed last year, and the General Store, which has several locations in Greater Manchester. 

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The statement, written by Mital Morar, cites inflation, the cost of living crisis, rising energy prices and a difficult time recovering from the pandemic as reasons behind the closures. The final trading day will be Sunday, February 11. 

Mital said: “Opening in 2019 to much risk and applaud we very quickly had problems! We were too busy, didn’t have enough seats and had to evolve very quickly. A good problem! For all the naysayers, Stretford supported us and we couldn’t have been happier. 

Stretford Mall, where the Stretford Foodhall was housed. Stretford Mall, where the Stretford Foodhall was housed.
Stretford Mall, where the Stretford Foodhall was housed.

“We hadn’t even traded one year and along came Covid and changed all that. We haven’t ever really recovered. Whilst trading through, winning awards, doing takeaway food and coffee, we evolved as much as we could with what we could post Covid. Entering inflation, cost of living crisis and this crazy enduring energy situation… we have no more left in the tank.”

He added that he will continue to back the local hospitality industry’s effort to lobby for more support for the sector. This comes amid a string of closures over the last months and ongoing calls from Manchester businesses for the government to step in and help. 

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Sacha Lord, Manchester’s night time economy tsar and leading figure in this campaign, commented on Stretford Mall’s closure via X. He said: “Todays announcement of the loss of Stretford Foodhall is yet again another loss that could have been avoided, if the Gov't had listened. Mital and his wife are incredible operators, who I wish all the best with their other ventures. If they can't make it, God help the rest.”

Ahead of the closure, Mital also thanked all food traders and the staff, saying: “This closure isn’t a reflection of our colleagues in branch, they too have endured a tough ride of uncertainty and changing decisions day to day. We have had to become an operation we don’t aspire to be and this too cannot continue. We thank you for your service and will support your roles and continuity as best we can. You are all individual and amazing and we wish you only the best for the future.”

The statement also hints that this is not the end of Store Group’s involvement in Stretford. To the neighbouring businesses and community members, Mital said: “We will meet again.”

He added: “As a Manchester born and bred business, local and independent, our confidence and Ikigai (as Masako once taught us) has been knocked. It has been a tortuous few years. But we get up and fight daily. Whilst we are closing, we haven’t given up. We look forward to serving you again one day… for now see us at @generalstores_.”

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