A Tesco spokesperson said they had made the “difficult decision” to close their doors on Royal Avenue within the next 12 months “as our lease comes to an end”.
“Unfortunately, we weren’t able to find a path to long-term viability for the store, which as you may know was also heavily impacted by the Primark fire – even though it did. didn’t help, the decision to close is not specifically related to this, ”they said.
“I want to reassure you that this is an isolated decision and that we will continue to serve customers at our other nine stores in Belfast. ”
In 2018, the store was forced to close due to the devastating Primark fire. It remained closed for almost nine months before reopening in May of last year.
“Our priority now is to support our colleagues and to work with those who wish to find an alternative role in one of our other stores in Belfast”, added the spokesperson.
“In addition to our existing stores in Belfast, we have also secured a new location for a Tesco Express in Belfast city center to help us continue to serve our customers.
The spokesperson added that Tesco “remains committed to investing in Northern Ireland” and supporting the region’s food and drink industry.
Belfast Deputy Mayor Paul McCusker said the news was “another blow” to the city center and it was essential that jobs were preserved.
“This is a very popular store in downtown Belfast in an iconic building,” he added.
“We need to make sure that all staff working here will have their jobs protected.
“I will write to the Minister of the Economy and to the Belfast City Hall Economic Development Unit after this terrible news. ”
Belfast Chamber Chief Executive Simon Hamilton said action was needed from the executive to prevent further casualties on the streets.
“Belfast Chamber will continue to work with Belfast City Council and our other city partners to rejuvenate and regenerate our city center, but this should send a clear signal to the NI executive that it must take this threat to the future success of our high streets more seriously, ”he said.
“The Belfast House calls on ministers to work closely with stakeholders like us to form a task force that focuses on how we can revive our city and our city centers and coordinates work within government towards this important goal.
“We cannot allow our city and our inner cities to continue to absorb blows like this without fighting back. Belfast Chamber is ready to work with the executive and others to rebuild our city and our great streets across the region. “
Telegraph de Belfast