Supermarket staff could lose their livelihoods when a busy town centre store closes, it was feared today.
Staff at Co-operative Food store in the Teanlowe Centre, Poulton, have been told the shop is to shut on June 21, to make way for the Booths redevelopment in the centre.
Now, the 30 staff are waiting to hear about future job prospects as Co-op bosses work to redeploy them to other shops.
Its closure means the town centre will be without one of its two supermarkets for more than a year while the revamp of the centre continues.
But other traders have said they are confident in the benefits of the overall revamp.
A spokesman for The Co-operative Food, said: “We can confirm The Co-operative Food store in the Teanlowe Centre is to close on June 21.
“The 30 staff at the store have been informed, and a consultation process is now under way. Every effort will be made to redeploy as many of them as possible; however, some will be at risk of redundancy.”
One staff member, who asked not to be named, said: “No-one really knew anything about it until the meeting.
“We’d heard rumours it was to close around June so generally people felt relieved we had a definite answer.
“They’ve not really kept us informed or reassured.
“A few people are worried about work and I think customers are quite upset because they rely on the shop. It’s part of the community.
“It’s possibly going to drive people out of the town to bigger supermarkets.”
But a Teanlowe Centre trader has said the works are short-term pain for long-term gain. Brenda Mellor, who owns Home Care Walkabout, said: “It’s a big development and I think once it’s done it will be lovely. So it’s something we’ve got to put up with for now and look forward to the work being completed.”
A £20m project is under way to repair and improve the centre and create a new 35,200 sq ft Booths store.
The Market Square entrance is largely restricted to allow for an extension of the former Clarks store and install a new floor and ceiling finishes, and a two-storey glazed entrance.
Work is anticipated to begin on the western mall from October. A spokesman for Booths said: “The Teanlowe Centre revamp is running well and we’re making every effort to keep the build on track to deliver the store on schedule.”