A CONVENIENCE store chain has confirmed one of its stores will be closing in Portsmouth.
The Co-operative mini supermarket in London Road, North End, will close on October 17.
The Co-op store is one of the most important on that high street and it’s a blow to hear it will be closingCouncillor Luke Stubbs, cabinet member for planning, regeneration and economic development
In total 41 staff members will be made redundant.
One worker, who wished to remain anonymous, said: ‘We are all shocked, upset and gobsmacked.
‘Some staff were crying because obviously we all have bills and mortgages to pay.
‘There was a notice on the board asking all the staff to come in on Monday (yesterday) for an announcement.
‘We were told even though there were two more years left on the lease, the store would be closing on October 17.
‘They said they had to close because they have been losing too much money.
‘We are all so upset about this.
‘Now we’ll have one-to-one meetings and discuss redundancy offers and if we can work in another Co-op store.’
Councillor Luke Stubbs, Portsmouth City Council cabinet member for planning, regeneration and economic development, said he didn’t know the store would be closing in October, but isn’t surprised by the decision.
He said: ‘I wasn’t aware it was closing, but I had heard they were looking for someone else to take it over.
‘That was about six months ago.
‘The Co-op store is one of the most important on that high street and it’s a blow to hear it will be closing.
‘The council would certainly encourage another retailer to take it up and speak to us if they wish to do so.’
It comes after McDonald’s, KFC and the British Heart Foundation have all pulled out of the once-busy high street.
A spokesman for The Co-operative Group, said: ‘We can confirm our food store in London Road, is to close.
‘Staff have been informed of the decision, which has been taken with the greatest reluctance and is not a reflection on the commitment and hard work of the store team.
‘Every effort is being made to redeploy as many as possible of the 41 members of staff with The Co-operative, or to help them find alternative employment.
‘We would like to thank our shoppers for their valued custom over the years.’