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Last Updated: Saturday, 3 June 2006, 13:33 GMT 14:33 UK
Co-op announces 79 jobs are to go
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More than half the jobs to go are part-time positions
Seventy-two people are to lose their jobs following a decision by the Co-operative Group to close its two trial non-food stores.

The company said an increasingly tough trading market for the non-food sector was the reason for the decision.

The stores in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, where 49 redundancies will be made, and Perth, Scotland, where 23 jobs are to go, will be closed by February 2007.

A further seven jobs are to go at the home stores' head office in Manchester.

A spokesperson for the Co-operative Group said it would help find alternative jobs for those affected.

"This has been a very difficult decision for us, particularly as it involves regrettable job losses, but it is one we have made in the interests of the group."

Thirty-four of the jobs to go in Kent are part-time positions.

Seven of the jobs based in Scotland are also part-time.

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