Tesco's decision to shut its Devizes Metro store on April 4, putting more than 60 jobs at risk, has been described as a huge blow to the local economy.

Yesterday the supermarket giant confirmed that the Maryport Street shop was not making enough money.

The 61 staff members were told the store would shut on Saturday, April 4, by store management at a meeting in the morning.

Devizes Chamber of Commerce committee member Angela MacLachlan said: “This will be a huge loss to the local economy especially with how many jobs are at risk.

“On a personal note there are so many people that will miss the upstairs part of the shop.

“You can’t get many of the products anywhere else in town and there is not another Tesco for miles.”

Anne Moore, owner of Duck’s Newsagents across the road from Tesco, said: “It is a bit of a surprise but it was inevitable really, after the recent problems Tesco has been having.”

Chantelle Bald, 23, Cornwall Crescent, said: “I know people that work there and it will be such a shame if people end up losing their jobs.”

Shoppers are also concerned about what the closure will mean for Devizes.

Charmaine Hollands, 29, of Hartmoor Close, said: “I have two children and Tesco is where I get most of their clothes and toys.

“I’m not sure what I’ll do now as I don’t drive and many of the other shops in Devizes are quite expensive.”

Melissa Wynne-Carter, 22, of Kingsley Gardens: “I do hope it is replaced with another shop that sells clothing as this is what the town needs.”

Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis announced that 43 unprofitable stores would be shut in January.

Yesterday he said: “It is with great sadness that I have to tell you that our Devizes store is one of the 43 we plan to close.

“The decision to close the store has been exceptionally difficult to take. I recognise it will affect many hard-working colleagues, our customers and the local community.”

Pauline Foulkes, national officer of trade union Usdaw, 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 be looking closely at the company’s business case for the closures.”

A Tesco spokesman said that staff will now go through a one-on-one consultation process. Wherever possible those affected will be offered other jobs within the company, although redundancy will be an option.

When the Gazette asked for a reaction we were told that staff have been asked not to comment.

The closures announced by Tesco are:

Superstores at Bedlington, Chatham, Connswater and Cregagh Road in Belfast, Doncaster, Kirkcaldy and Wrexham Dodds Lane.

Homeplus shops are to shut at Bristol Cribbs Causeway, Chelmsford, Chester, Edinburgh, Southampton and Staines.

Tesco Metro shops will close at Bicester, Bootle, Caerphilly, Crossgates, Devizes, Grangemouth, Mexborough, Morecambe, Ormskirk, Runcorn, Smethwick and Woodseats.

The company has also identified 18 smaller Express convenience stores for closure.

They are at: Bearwood; Belvedere; Church Street, Ballymena; Heaton Chapel; Heybridge, Essex; Houghton Regis; Liverpool Kensington; Longbridge Road, Barking; Northfield, Birmingham; Raymouth Lane, Worksop; Sheffield Manor; South Tottenham High Road; Tredegar; Troon; Walsall Wood; Wealdstone; Whitley Bay; and York Road, Hartlepool.