THE Safeway supermarket at Nantwich is up for sale with food giant Tesco interested in buying it.
After months of speculation, Morrisons has struck a deal which will see 48 Safeway stores across the country go on the market as part of its £3billion takeover of the chain.
Among them will be the money-spinning Safeway stores at Nantwich, Crewe and Sandbach.
With only one small Express store at Wistaston, retail giant Tesco has confirmed it is interested in South Cheshire sites.
Tesco spokeswoman Deborah Watson said: 'It is early days but we can confirm we are committed to growth and are interested in the South Cheshire sites. We are looking at prices and locations before saying anymore.'
Yesterday a spokeswoman at the Nantwich Safeway store, said she had 'no idea' what the future held.
The store was the 131st in the UK when it was opened in September 1986 at a cost of £5m.
It initially created 165 jobs, offering the widest choice of goods under one roof in the town.
Classed as a medium-sized store, it has an existing planning permission to extend the floor space.
Nantwich Town Council chairman Joyce Stockton said: 'Whatever happens I hope it is retained as a food store.
'We have Sainsbury's, Safeway, Somerfield and the recently opened Aldi supermarkets in Nantwich and I think it is important that we keep that range, so that there is healthy competition.'
As part of the agreement to buy the Safeway chain, the Competition Commission ruled Morrisons would have to dispose of 52 of its stores - 48 of which are Safeways.
It was necessary to prevent Morrisons having a monopoly grip on the country's retail sector.
The stores destined to be sold will continue to operate under the Safeway banner until new owners take over. All will have to change hands by the end of the year.
Talks have already started with hundreds of staff to explain what is to happen to their jobs.
Shoppers reaped the first benefits of the takeover with prices lowered on more than 300 everyday items at the largest Safeway stores yesterday.
The reductions follow £4m of in-store savings unveiled by rival Asda last week, fuelling speculation of a price war.
The deal brings to an end one of the most hotly-contested takeover battles in recent history. Private investors and other supermarket groups fought for the chain.