Up to 20 jobs lost at Rushmere retail centre as tenants leave

Rushmere Shopping Centre. INLM45-112gc
Rushmere Shopping Centre. INLM45-112gc

Up to 20 staff at Rushmere are set to lose their jobs as two stores close following lease negotiations and rent rises.

The stores are due to close in the next couple of weeks and the news has been described as “shocking” by staff.

Semi-Chem is set to close with the loss of up to 12 full-time and part-time staff, as is Shoe Zone with the loss of up to eight full and part-time staff.

One member of staff said, “It has been a dreadful shock.”

Another said he believed it was due to a lease not being renewed due to higher rents.

The Times asked Rushmere for comment but no one was available for comment regarding the loss of tenants and jobs.

However Rushmere did announce the creation of 20 new jobs this week.

Holland & Barrett and Pavers have open new stores in recent months, while Vodafone and Debenhams are expanding.

Confirming new lettings and the creation of up to 24 new full and part-time jobs, the Craigavon-based retail scheme said UK health food brand Holland & Barrett had chosen Rushmere to launch its first new ‘concept store format’ on the island of Ireland. “The new unit, which covers 2,300 square feet, will offer unique products including an extended make-up and beauty offering, a shake-a-whey sports bar and an extensive range of food supplements, health foods and herbal remedies,” said a press release.

UK mobile firm Vodafone, meanwhile, is upsizing from its existing unit measuring 300 square feet to a new store measuring 2,000 square feet.

Rushmere confirmed that Debenhams has opened a new Benefit Brow Counter and that there are plans for it to further expand its ‘click and collect’ service area in store.

A new 2,480 square store by footwear specialists Pavers, which recently opened on the main fashion mall, completes the line-up of new sign-ups.

Rushmere Shopping Centre Manager, Martin Walsh, said, “I’m delighted that so many big-name, top brand retailers are voting with their feet too.”