Semichem store at Lisnagelvin Shopping Centre to close

The Semichem store at Lisnagelvin Shopping Centre store is to close.

Monday, 5th April 2021, 1:43 pm

It is one of 22 stores Scotland Northern Ireland and the North East of England that the health and household goods retailer is consulting on closure.

Semichem also has stores in Richmond Centre and Foyleside Shopping Centre which have been unaffected following the announcement.

The closures have been prompted by ongoing challenges to high street trading, which have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The business, which is owned by community retailer Scotmid Co-operative, is in talks with landlords in several locations and will make a final decision on a small number of the 22 stores in the coming months.

A total of 140 Semichem staff have now entered a formal consultation process. Management at Scotmid are exploring opportunities to redeploy as many as possible within its wider business.

Karen Scott, Head of Semichem, said: “The high street was already struggling to adapt to the pace of change in shopping habits, including out-of-town developments and the rise of internet shopping.

“That change has undoubtedly been accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Sadly, we have reached the point where it is no longer viable to keep some of our stores open.

“We are grateful for both Scotmid and subsequent government support, which has undoubtedly prolonged the life of many stores.

“Our priority now is to support affected colleagues at this difficult time. We are already looking for redeployment opportunities within the Scotmid group and will help all our staff both personally and professionally.”

Semichem was founded in 1980 and became part of Scotmid Co-operative in 1995. It currently operates 86 stores in shopping centres and on high streets across Northern Ireland, Scotland and the North East of England. Over the last three years, Semichem has invested £2.2 million in refitting stores and trialling a range of new retail concepts.

Karen Scott added: “The remaining stores in our Semichem portfolio are trading satisfactorily given the current circumstances. Like many other retailers, we are hopeful that, as restrictions ease, footfall will return to our high streets. I am also pleased to say that our investment programme will resume in the summer.”