Visitor readers have been reacting to news that Tesco in the Arndale Centre will close.
A customer of 28 years said it was “a crying shame” that the supermarket, which employs 45 people, will shut on April 4.
The Arndale Tesco was one of 43 unprofitable stores to go as the retail chain culled shops across the country.
Staff and customers were rocked by news of the closure of the Arndale’s flagship store just weeks after the centre was bought in a £14m deal. by London firm New River Retail, who have pledged major investment in the centre.
Sarita Swarbrick, who shopped regularly in the Morecambe town centre store, said: “It will take the heart out of the Arndale.
“A lot of the dedicated staff have been there years.
“The decision has been made from afar purely on cost basis but Tesco have no inkling of its importance in the local community and economy. A lot of retired people shop there as it is handy and convenient.”
Coun Janice Hanson, deputy leader of Lancaster City Council, said the closure was “a blow”.
She said: “I hope everything is done to keep those jobs and keep any losses to a minimum. The new owners of the Arndale have already announced that they have plans to develop the centre and it’s important now that they maintain their momentum to minimise the effect of the Tesco closure.”
Visitor readers also gave their views on our Facebook page.
Keith Donaldson said: “That’s the death warrant signed for the Arndale.”
Beth Rolfe said: “There will be nothing left in there at this rate. Tesco has been there forever.”
Daniel Chadwick said: “Something much bigger and much more modern needs to replace that whole area with larger stores and straight in and out access with multi-storey parking over the top instead looking over the bay.”
Staff were said to have had an inkling the store might shut, after Tesco announced widespread closures earlier this year. They were told officially on Wednesday morning. Since then, staff have been called into individual consultations about their futures.
Dave Lewis, Tesco chief executive, said he hoped employees would be found other roles, possibly at branches in Carnforth and Heysham.
Mr Lewis said: “The decision to close the store has been exceptionally difficult to take. I recognise it will affect many hard working colleagues, our customers and the local community.”
Pauline Foulkes – National Officer for Usdaw (the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) said: “This is devastating news for over 2,000 dedicated staff in the 43 Tesco stores across the UK.
“They have worked hard to make their shop viable during a difficult time for the company.”
New River Retail had not commented as The Visitor went to press.