SHOPPERS in a Sheffield suburb have been left shocked after a major retailer announced it is to close its superstore there within a few weeks.
A spokesman for Co-operative Food, which owns the Co-op Superstore in Middlewood Road, Hillsborough, said it will close in May.
But the Co-op insists staff currently employed would not lose their jobs as the shop had been sold to a rival retailer who will take them on.
The spokesman said: “We can confirm The Co-operative Food store is due to close on Saturday, May 11.
“The store has been acquired by another retailer, B&M and all 31 members of staff will transfer to the new operator with their terms and conditions of employment maintained.
“Staff at the store have been informed of the decision.
“We are pleased to have concluded a deal which ensures continued employment for staff, and we would like to thank our shoppers for their valued custom over the years.
“The Co-operative will continue to operate the post office branch within the store for the next 12 months, while Post Office looks to find a new operator.”
Surprised shoppers gave a mixed reaction to the news of the closure.
Judith Parkinson regularly travels from her home in Stocksbridge to shop at the store.
She said: “I’m very upset. The same thing happened in Stocksbridge and it doesn’t do the area any good whatsoever to lose your Co-op. Of course, there are advantages with it becoming a B&M store, but the stuff that B&M sells is hardly top quality.”
Doreen Smith, from Hillsborough, said she was surprised at the decision.
She said: “It’s a real shame the Co-op is to close and the fact it is to become a bargain store is a real letdown.”
Alma Wilson, from Wadsley Bridge, said she had been shopping at the Co-op for years.
She said: “I will certainly miss the place. It’s ideally situated for me, right by the bus stop and I’m aged 85 – at my age you don’t want to walk too far.
“And if you ask me there are enough of those bargain type shops already.”
But Peter Freathy, from High Green, was not surprised at the demise of Hillsborough Co-op.
He said: “The Co-op never really had anyone in the place.
“And the B&M shops are a lot cheaper. It’s good news for those who don’t have much money.
“And let’s face it that’s the way we are going these days.”