Sainsbury’s store closure sparks Brexit pull-out fears
The supermarket giant said that in the year to 6 March, Covid costs “to help keep our colleagues and customers safe” had been “high”.
However, it said it expected profits to bounce back in the coming year.
Upper Bann MP Carla Lockhart said: “This announcement has come as a huge shock to staff and to the wider community. This store is very popular and Craigavon has proven itself to be a strong base for retail.
“Indeed the Rushmere Centre has recently had the news that Primark is taking up the former Debenhams unit and this will drive footfall even more.
“While there is lead in time to closure obviously this is a difficult time for staff. I trust that support can be provided to them to secure alternative employment and anyone needing guidance can contact me for signposting to support.”
SDLP Upper Bann MLA Dolores Kelly has said the closure of the Sainsbury’s store at Rushmere Shopping Centre in Craigavon is a huge jobs blow for the area.
The Upper Bann MLA said: “This announcement is devastating news for staff and shoppers in this area who frequent this store. For 109 staff to potentially lose their jobs in the run-up to Christmas is a huge jobs blow. This area has long suffered from a chronic lack of investment and this is evidenced by the already high unemployment locally and this news will only make things worse.
“This closure will also leave this huge store empty, while I hope it will be filled by another shop as soon as possible there are only a limited number of companies capable of taking on this huge space. This is the latest in a long line of business closures in this area and we need to see an Executive strategy to revitalise this town and the many other towns across the North that find themselves in the same position.
“Questions have also been raised about what led to this decision with Sainsbury’s making large pre-tax profits last year, with many local people relying on this store during the coronavirus lockdown. My office will be liaising with the staff affected to see what assistance can be offered and I hope that they secure alternative employment soon.”