Tesco has announced it will close its Metro store on Royal Avenue in Belfast next year.
The store first opened in 1996 and is one of the 10 Tesco locations in Belfast.
A Tesco spokesperson said they have made the “tough decision” to close their doors on Royal Avenue in the next 12 months “when our lease ends.”
“Unfortunately, we have not been able to find a route to long-term viability for the store, which, as you may know, was also severely affected by the Primark fire – although this did not help, the decision to close does not specifically address this , “they said.
“I want to assure you that this is a standalone decision and we will continue to serve customers from our nine other Belfast stores.”
In 2018, the store had to close due to the devastating Primark fire. It remained closed for nearly nine months before reopening in May last year.
“Our priority now is to support our colleagues and work with those who want to find an alternative role in one of our other Belfast stores,” added the spokesperson.
“In addition to our existing Belfast stores, we have also secured a new location for a Tesco Express in the center of Belfast so that we can continue to serve our customers.”
The spokesperson added that Tesco “remains committed to investing in Northern Ireland” and supporting the food and beverage industry in the region.
Belfast’s deputy mayor, Paul McCusker, said the news was “another blow” to the city center and it is vital that jobs are secured.
“This is a very popular Belfast city center store in an iconic building,” he added.
“We have to make sure that all the staff working here will get their jobs.
“I will write to the Secretary of State for Economic Affairs and the Economic Development Unit of the Belfast City Council after this terrible news.”