RISING crime is one of the reasons given for the closure of a Portsmouth convenience store next month.
Southern Co-op has announced that the store in Isambard Brunel Road will be closing on Sunday, December 15.
Like other companies that have closed stores this year, a decline in profits has had an impact on the firm’s decision.
But chief operating officer for retail Simon Eastwood says there has also been a rise in crime in the area – though the company has refused to give specific details.
He said: ‘The retail industry is facing major cost pressures such as Business Rates, and the market continues to evolve rapidly.
‘Unfortunately, it has not been enough to stop a decline in profits at our Isambard Brunel Road store with its particular local challenges.
‘The challenging market conditions, when added to the increase in crime in the vicinity in recent years, means we have no other option but to close this store in six weeks time.
‘We would like to thank all of our loyal customers who have shopped with us in the store.’
The Southern Co-op is campaigning for tougher sentences for people convicted of violent crime against retail staff.
There are 15 other Co-op stores in Portsmouth, which the firm insists will not be closing under current plans.
Staff have been informed and offered alternative positions elsewhere, the company says.