Belfast Telegraph

Concerns over Londonderry Primark closure despite vow to relocate workers

Donna Deeney

By Donna Deeney

Primark's decision to close its store in the Waterside in Londonderry after more than 30 years has been met with fears for staff jobs despite the company offering redeployment.

The 61 people who work in the Lisnagelvin store were informed yesterday that it will close in April.

The company, which is part of Associated British Foods, has not laid out the reason for failing to renew its lease, but said its focus was on its outlet on the west bank of the city.

A spokesman said: "Primark's store on Newmarket Street in Derry will undergo a refurbishment in April 2018. In light of this investment and, as our lease is now expiring, we have decided to close our Lisnagelvin store in Derry, which is one of our older and smaller stores."

The shutters will finally come down at the 10,100sq ft shop on April 7.

"All Lisnagelvin employees will be offered relocation opportunities at our 32,700sq ft store in Newmarket Street Derry, which is less than two miles away," the spokesman added.

"Alternatively, if employees would like to transfer to another store in Northern Ireland, which is more convenient for them, we will facilitate where possible.

One woman who works in the Waterside store said that staff were concerned despite the company's assurances.

"The decision to close the store in Lisnagelvin doesn't make sense to any of us because it is busy all the time," she said.

"It also doesn't make sense that all of us will be able to work in the store on the Derry side because you suddenly can't find work for an extra 60 people.

"I know a few girls who work in the cityside store and they are worried now too because they think they will have their hours cut to accommodate us, but no one is telling them anything so they're as much in the dark as we are."

Foyle DUP MLA Gary Middleton, said the closure of the Waterside store was "worrying".

Belfast Telegraph