The Melton branch of the Co-op is to close in January with the loss of up to 41 jobs, it was announced this morning.
Speculation about the future of the store was rife in the town after the business revealed earlier this year it would no longer host the town’s Post Office from early next year.
The Co-op said it had taken the decison to shut its Scalford Road store from January 16 because sales had diminished there recently and they were expected to continue to drop.
A spokesperson said: “The difficult decision to close this store and Post Office has been taken following a full review of its trading performance which has indicated a decline in sales with increasing losses projected in future years.
“Like other retailers, we are constantly adapting to retail challenges at a local level, including the impact of competition, and this decision is necessary to protect the long-term future and growth of the Society as a whole.”
The challenges faced by the Co-op intensified in June when budget supermarket Lidl opened a new store nextdoor, on the site of the former Crown House office block.
The Co-op said it would try to help some employees find jobs elsewhere in the company, where they are available.
The spokesperson added: “Unfortunately this closure will affect 41 members of staff which the Society is now in consultation with.
“When taking these decisions we always aim to take into account the best interests of both the business and our colleagues.
“Where possible we aim to offer colleagues opportunities to be redeployed into other business areas or new stores being opened as part of the Society’s on-going growth strategy.”