The Scottish Hydro Electric shop in Lerwick’s Commercial Street will close within the next six weeks, SSE announced today.
The shop, which sells electrical items and white goods, will close along with all SSE’s other 36 retail shops, mostly in the north of Scotland, as well as its associated online shop. All shops are expected to be closed by 15th May. Staff may be redeployed within the company.
SSE has now entered into consultation with its 119 employees affected by the planned closures and will discuss possible redeployment within the company. It aims to avoid redundancies wherever possible, although if this is unavoidable, enhanced terms will be offered to affected employees during the consultation process.
SSE Director of Domestic Retail Stephen Forbes said changing shopping habits and more customer choice mean the shops have now been loss-making for a number of years.
He said: “Customers’ shopping habits have changed considerably since these shops were first opened with more and more people shopping online, especially for larger electrical items.
“We know some of these shops have been on local high streets for a long time so we did not take this decision lightly but footfall and sales have reduced considerably and there is, unfortunately, no realistic prospect of that long-term trend reversing.
“Our priority is to ensure our colleagues are fully supported during this time and we will work to redeploy staff within the SSE group where possible.”
SSE employs around 6,000 people across Scotland, many based across the north of the country.