Tesco workers in Dundee have been told one of the city’s busiest supermarkets will close in a matter of weeks after the landlord decided not to renew the lease.
Staff will meet bosses at the end of the month to discuss their future after the supermarket giant confirmed its Tesco Metro store in Murraygate, which supports 78 jobs, will close on November 2.
It is understood Tesco had been locked in negotiations with landlord Sports Direct for some time before the decision was made, and a request for a short extension to help secure the future of workers was reportedly refused by the sporting goods retailer.
Staff at the store told The Courier they first expressed concerns after spotting a listing for the premises online early this summer but were told not to worry, until management received an email stating when they were due out of the building.
Workers will attend one-to-one meetings with their line managers but one staff member said he was told by Tesco that his job could not be guaranteed beyond the November 2 closure date.
He said conditions were an “absolute shambles” at the Murraygate store and staff had only recently faced a round of restructuring that saw some moved to reduced hours.
A spokesman for the supermarket chain said its priority is “supporting affected colleagues, including finding them roles in other Tesco stores, wherever possible”.
“We are really disappointed that the lease has been terminated at our city centre store. Unfortunately, this means it will close,” he said.
“To give us more time to help our colleagues there, we asked for a short extension, which was refused.”
Shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw confirmed it is supporting members and described the news as “yet another blow for Dundee”.
Area organiser Jack Faulds said: “Our members are shocked and devastated by this news, which has come out of the blue. Staff are being briefed today and our reps are supporting them at this difficult time.
“Our priority is to keep members in work, primarily by seeking redeployment opportunities. This is yet another blow for Dundee.
“The retail sector as whole is in crisis and we need an urgent strategy for an industry that employs over 250,000 workers across Scotland, with many more in distribution and manufacturing reliant on thriving high streets in our towns and cities.”
The building has been a flagship retail outlet in Dundee for a number of national traders, including Woolworths and John Menzies, before becoming a Tesco Metro.
Sports Direct failed to respond to a request for comment.