Staff from the soon to close Co-op store have been subjected to verbal abuse from disgruntled shoppers, reports NEIL HENDERSON.
The Gazette has been informed that many of the shop’s staff have been on the receiving end as customers vent their anger at the imminent closure, which will leave no supermarket at that end of the Kingdom Centre.
The Co-op store is set to close for the final time on 24 September, finally ending links with the town that go back as far as 1952.
Store manager, Sheena Hood, who is set to retire once the store closes is dismayed with what her staff have had to endure.
She said: “It’s not right that the staff have had to take such abuse from angry customers, it isn’t the fault of staff that the store is closing.
“The staff have got enough to deal with, especially with the prospect of unemployment and trying to find a new job.”
She added: “I can understand customers being unhappy with the closure but abusing staff members is unacceptable.”
It is understood that only eight of the 42 staff have currently secured future employment as the store prepares to close.
One employee who didn’t want to be named said: “Most, if not all the positions offered elsewhere within the company have been part-time only.
“I’ve been lucky to get re-employed elsewhere but many of my colleagues have been offered nothing.”
Despite the bleak situation surrounding the closure, staff have still managed to raise nearly £2000 for charity.
The John Fergus School was presented with gifts and a cheque for £1,943.
It is understood that as much as seven years is still outstanding on the lease which is for approximately forty thousand square feet of retail space.