Tesco boss Dave Lewis has agreed to face to face talks over the future of Kirkcaldy’s closure threatened store.
His meeting with Gordon Brown MP was confirmed on the eve of a Valentine’s Day rally to send a ‘‘we love our Tesco’’ message to the retail giants.
And campaigners hope it will spur more Fifers to take part in the big gathering in the Town Square on Saturday at 10.00 a.m.
Mr Brown has been pushing for direct talks with Tesco’s CEO since the devastating announcement the Hunter Street store was earmarked for closure on April 4 with the loss of up to 189 jobs.
The MP said: “Already thousands have signed a written petition set up by Tesco store workers calling on the company to change their mind about deserting Kirkcaldy and threatening to put so many staff out of work.”
He added that the meeting was ‘the next step’ in a continuing dialogue with Tesco to persuade them to change their mind.
Mr Brown has argued that the unique feature of the closure, which makes it doubly unacceptable, is the loss of the main Post Office, whose franchise Tesco has held for years. It is estimated that 4,000 elderly people use it every week.
He added: “The meeting arises from the series of letters from myself and Council leader David Ross to Mr Lewis, and my phone call with him only a few days ago.
“I have put new financial figures to Tesco suggesting that there is a case for reconsideration - not just because the Post Office is central to Kirkcaldy but also because I believe they can adopt a cost-effective plan by staying.
“I have suggested to Mr Lewis that we could negotiate rent from the owner of the site, Threadneedle Street, and that we could make the Post Office franchise more attractive to the company.
“What really concerns me is that if we create a hole in the High Street by losing the biggest superstore in the town then all the other shops in the area will suffer. Council leader David Ross and Kirkcaldy Council have responded swiftly to this by helping to compile the new dossier.
‘‘We must keep Tesco at the heart of Kirkcaldy.”