over 120 North East jobs are at risk after Tesco announced it will be closing three stores in the region.
Bedlington Superstore, which employs 90 people, will close on April 4, while the Whitley Bay Express and York Road Hartlepool Express stores, which employ 15 people and 18 people respectively, will shut their doors on March 15.
The closures are part of national plans to shut 43 shops in an effort to secure the future of the business, following recent difficulties.
Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis said: “In January, I announced that our performance as a business has fallen significantly short of where we would want it to be and that to protect the future of the business in the UK we would close 43 unprofitable stores.
“The decision to close the stores has been exceptionally difficult to take. I recognise it will affect many hard working colleagues, our customers and local communities.
“Our priority is to explain what this announcement means for our colleagues and wherever possible, offer them alternative roles with Tesco. We will continue to serve our customers through other local stores and our dotcom service.”
Nationally, around 2,000 are at risk through the closure plans.
Pauline Foulkes, a national officer at Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) said: “This is devastating news for over 2,000 dedicated staff in the 43 Tesco stores across the UK, who have worked hard to make their shop viable during a difficult time for the company.
“We will now enter into full and meaningful consultation meetings on this proposal, where we will look closely at the company’s business case for the closures. Our priority is to maximise employment within Tesco, seek redeployment opportunities for members, where possible, and to keep job losses to a minimum.
“We will support, advise and represent our members throughout this difficult period of uncertainty.”