Dunnes is axing 14 jobs from its Belfast city centre store with the closure of its in-house cafe.
Staff at the Dunnes store at Cornmarket were brought into a meeting yesterday where they were given the devastating news that all jobs were being shed.
Some of the employees have been working at the Timepiece cafe for some 10 years.
There are also fears it could spell the end for other in-store cafes across Northern Ireland.
Belfast woman Rosemary Maxwell (53), who has worked in the cafe for two years, said the news was "financially devastating".
"We were told the store wasn't performing as well as they wanted it to and they came to a decision that they are going to close the cafe," she said.
"Financially, this is devastating. At my age it's hard to get another job. I have bills, mortgage, car payments, things that still need to paid for and I also pay for my mum to be in a care home."
Dunnes Stores did not respond to a request for a comment.