More job losses as Spar store set to close in Kirkcaldy

The Spar shop is to close
The Spar shop is to close

Up to 18 jobs could be lost with the closure of the Spar and Subway store on St Clair Street in Kirkcaldy.

Owners C J Lang and Sons have just announced that the store, which has been in the town for decades, is to close on August 18, unless a new buyer can be found.

A spokesman said: ““Like so many companies in the retail sector, operating costs have significantly risen over the last five years or so.

“C J Lang has endeavoured to weather ever increasing pressures on labour costs and of course rates’ increases. These costs are very much outside our control but the fact is that in these very difficult circumstances, notwithstanding the other factor of strong convenience store competition in the area, it has put SPAR St Clair Street, which for many years was a successful store, into a position where it cannot continue as a sustainable business. This is despite the best efforts of store and Subway employees.

“The Company has given deep consideration to the ongoing viability of SPAR St Clair Street, but has decided that the store will cease trading as of August 18, 2018 unless a buyer can be found.

“C J Lang will of course closely consult with our affected employees and will, as far as possible, try to mitigate against any redundancies.

“We would like to thank our customers and staff for their loyalty and support over the years we have traded in Kirkcaldy.”

The news has met with dismay from staff, customers and nearby traders in the town.

“I am gutted and will be very sorry to see the shop close,” said manageress Linda Seath, who has worked there for 18 years.

“I started off as a part time evening sales assistant and worked my way up here.

“There are 18 of us here, mostly part-time workers and about five of us have over ten years service.

“We have been told that there are some jobs at other stores in the area, but I haven’t made my mind up what to do yet.

“One of our staff Pauline Walker would have been here 34 years next month.”

Subway opened within the shop in September 2015, and it will close at the same time, following hard on the heels of the demise of the outlet within the Mercat shopping centre.

One customer, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “It was very handy for popping in for things you needed in between big shops and I will be sad to see it go.”

Another said: “I use the Subway all the time and with the Mercat one closing that only leaves one in the Shell garage on Hendry Road. I also use it for bits and pieces of shopping if I run short. It’s sad that it is closing.”

Gayle Allen, owner of The Dog Shop next to the Spar, added: “I am pretty shocked because it has been there forever and there are lots of long-serving staff members.

“It is another shop closing down because the big supermarkets are swamping them.

“There’s a good variety of shops on St Clair Street which is good for people living in the area. We are trying to encourage more people to come here and this won’t help.

“It is a big shop to fill.”