SCOTMID'S Bonnyrigg store is to close next month. The closure comes after the company decided the dwindling number of customers was not enough to sustain the outlet, which also houses the town's post office
Staff were told on Monday that the foodstore will cease operating on February 16, with the post office remaining open until the end of March, by which time, it is believed, an alternative location in the town will have been identified.
Malcolm Brown, head of corporate communications for Scotmid, told the Advertiser the company had done all it could to keep the store open but had finally been forced to take the tough decision to shut the store, as it was no longer viable.
The store currently employs 23 staff, five of these in the post office. Only two staff members work full-time.
He said: "For some time the store has not been performing as well as we had hoped as a convenience retailer. The decision is something we don't take lightly and comes in the face of increasing competion. People have more choice now and it means that the store has suffered."
Mr Brown added that the company had looked at ways to keep the outlet operating. "Every way possible has been tried, but it comes to a time when something has got to give. Some people have drifted away and a loyal customer base has not been enough to sustain it."
He added: "We need to enter communications with our employees; some may wish to take redundancy and some will want to take alternative employment in other stores."
Mr Brown said he did not believe the post office would be lost and negotiations are ongoing to move it to another site, with a decision likely to be made by the end of March.