IT is not known how many members of staff will lose their jobs when the shutters come down for the final time on Semichem in Strabane.
This week Semichem parent company, Scotmid Co-operative confirmed to the Chronicle that the shop on Main Street had been “financially challenged” for some time, and would now close. However a spokesperson declined to say when exactly this would take place. Semichem in Strabane employs seven staff altogether.
“The Semichem store in Strabane has been financially challenged for some time and the continued decline in footfall has unfortunately led to the decision to close the store,” a Scotmid Co-operative spokesperson said.
“Over the past few years, we’ve looked at several options to try and turn the store around.
“But unfortunately we’ve now ended up in the position where closure of the store is the only option available.”
The most recent director’s report from Scotmid Co-operative referred to trading conditions hampered by the uncertainty around Brexit.
The report read, “Like other retailers trading on local high streets, Semichem continues to operate in a very challenging market impacted by structural changes and not helped by the uncertainty caused by significant external events, in particular Brexit. The Scottish Retail Consortium reported non-food like-for-like sales down by an average of 1.8 per-cent in the year ended January 2017 which confirms the tough market conditions faced by high street retailers.”
Referring to local staff, the Semichem spokesperson thanked them for their loyalty.
“We’re still in discussions with the store’s seven staff members, five of whom are part-time, with our first option being to transfer them to other stores in the area – these discussions are still ongoing. We would like to thank our staff and our customers for their continued loyalty over the years,” the spokesperson concluded.