1st May 1976
Jobs Go As Co-op Pulls Out Of Liscard
The Co-Operative store in Liscard is to close. Most of the 39 staff will lose their jobs.
The main reason for the closure, according to regional general manager Mr. Sidney Stott, is that "Liscard has shown in the past 13 years that it cannot support a department store."
He told the NEWS: "I think it is very regrettable that the Liscard store should have to close, but, unfortunately, we find it necessary to protect the total interest of our 2,000 employees, our 550 pensioners and our many investors."
The Co-operative Retail Society Limited, which took over teh Birkenhead and District Co-operative Society in June last year, is now concentrating on the development of the Grange Road, Birkenhead, and Woodchurch stores.
Mr. Stott continued: "In all these circumstances we have made a very close assessment of existing shopping facilities. We have taken into account how well they have been used,. and the new facilities being provided in Wirral, for example the huge new Birkenhead shopping centre and also the present economic climate which is affecting all retailers."
Although no actual date has yet been fixed for the closure. Mr. Stott is hoping that many of the staff will be able to find alternative jobs in the meantime. Only an "extreme few" will be transfered to other stores.
Mr. Stott went on: "We are investing considerable sums of money in retailers in the Wirral. We are the biggest retailers in the peninsula, abd the biggest retailers of many individual groups such as groceries, milk, clothing and furniture. We also have easily the biggest funeral department in the Wirral.
"In other words, there is no question of anything other than the normal process of business change, in this case being accelerated by inflation of expenses and the general economic climate."
Advertising manager Mr. Brian Miller pointed out that many of the employers at Liscard were "near retirement age anyway."
The employees at Liscard had been informed of the decision, almost as soon as it had been made, he said.
Chairman of Liscard Traders Association, Mr. Ken Savage, said the most of the local traders he had spoken to about it did not see it affecting their business adversely.
Mrs. Lynda Chalker, Wallasey's M.P, told the NEWS: "I'm stumped. I have been in and out of the Co-op over the years, and I know they have been in difficulties, but it is exceedingly hard on the people involved. This sort of shock is the result of the long continued mammoth level of inflation. We must see what can be done for those people being made redundant. It is so tragic."
Conservative leader of the council, Coun. Malcolm Thornton, commented. "This is particularly worrying because of the very high level of unemployment we have got on Merseyside."