ANGRY shop workers at Spar in Great Sutton claim 40 working hours are being cut at their store, only a month after a Tesco Express store opened across the road.
Angry staff at the shop on the corner of Thelwall Road, which also operates as a well-used post office, say their trade has been ‘badly affected’ since Tesco opened its doors in early January.
Sales assistant Jean Hughes and her colleagues were told last week that 40 hours of work are to be lost, sparking fears among the 10 staff that it could be the beginning of the end for the 20-year-old shop.
Mrs Hughes, who has worked at Spar for the past 18 years, said: “It’s a lot to lose, they just can’t give us the hours because shop takings have plummeted.
“We noticed a change in that it’s not as busy and we aren’t bringing in as much but when we had a meeting we were told profits are down by 50% and it’s still decreasing.”
She added: “It’s going to affect all of us – one girl who works here relies on working 60 hours in order to get her tax credits.
“We’re a community shop and look after the elderly, we do shopping for them if they’re ill, they just ring us up and we take food round for them; that’s definitely going to be missed, as well as the charity boxes we have here.”
Cllr Ben Powell said: “I met some staff at Spar before the Tesco was finished and following that meeting, I lobbied Tesco to ensure the car park would be available to the customers of the other stores, which they agreed with. I hoped this would give all the outlets a better prospect of success, but clearly any competitor is going to struggle when Tesco opens nearby.
“I remain of the view that planning rules need to change so planning permission will be needed in cases like this, as nobody was able to formally express their views about the new Tesco before it was opened.”
A Tesco spokesperson had not responded to The Pioneer by the time of press.