Closure of Co-op supermarket - blow for 39 jobs

The Co-op in the Hildreds Centre will close on December 29.
The Co-op in the Hildreds Centre will close on December 29.

A Skegness supermarket is to close its doors next month with the loss of 39 jobs.

Staff at the Co-operative in the Hildreds Shopping Centre were told the site will shut on December 29, with its demise blamed on ‘poor trading performance’.

“Staff at the store have been informed of the decision, which has been taken with the greatest reluctance and is due to the store’s poor trading performance,” said a spokesperson for the Co-operative.

“Every effort will be made to redeploy as many as possible of the staff with The Co-operative, or to help them find alternative employment.”

Speculation as to what might fill the large retail unit has already begun to circulate the town, with some believing M&S Food to be looking at the site. However, a spokesperson for M&S has ruled out any ‘current plans’ to move to the town although a ‘number of retailers’ are said to be in talks with Hildreds’ owners.

“The lease at the Hildreds Shopping Centre is due to expire and the supermarket has decided not to renew,” said a spokesperson for NewRiver Retail. “We are currently marketing the space and in talks with a number of retailers who are keen to open stores in Skegness.”

Glenis Brown, the chair of Skegness and District Chamber of Commerce, thought the shock news to be ‘very sad’ for the staff set to lose their jobs at Christmas but added that rumours regarding new retailers gave glimmers of hope for the town.

“It’s sad to hear of those losing jobs. Let’s hope those people are re-employed with another retailer; we can only hope for that outcome,” said Glenis.

Skegness’s Deputy Mayor, Jim Carpenter, said: “This is sad and is bad news for the town, this has come as a surprise and we still don’t have confirmation regarding The Post Office, which is currently in the Co-op.”

As yet, no confirmation regarding where the post office service may move has been given, despite suggestions it may relocate to Beales Department store in Lumley Road.

And despite the post office stating to Skegness Town Council two weeks ago that an announcement was expected to be made, no statement has yet been issued.