THE closure of a supermarket chain’s popular store will be “mind-bogglingly bad”, it has been claimed.

Company bosses at Sainsbury’s have announced its shop in Clacton High Street will shut next year.

It is believed it will close in January.

The news comes one year after the supermarket chain revealed plans to axe 15 stores within two years, but also open ten new ones over the next five years.

Read more >>> Sainsbury's set to close busy store in Clacton High Street

Some Clacton residents have speculated the decision is a result of the lease on the Sainsbury’s building coming to an end.

As a result of the planned closure, some employees could face losing their jobs, but a supermarket spokesman said the chain will do its best to relocate staff to different stores.

“We have updated colleagues on the difficult decision to close our Clacton store,” said the spokesman.

“We are doing everything we can to find alternative roles within Sainsbury’s for those affected.

“Customers can continue to shop with us online, or at our St John’s Road store in Clacton, which is a short drive away.”

The closure follows last year’s addition of a Lidl supermarket at the out-of-town Brook Park West, which sits opposite Brook Retail Park’s Tesco store.

Plans are also in place to build another retail park on the three-acre site next to Waterglade Retail Park, in Old Road.

It is expected to include a new tyre centre, gym, and drive-thru restaurant, and several retailers have already signed up, such as Toolstation, Subway, P1 Pitstop, Ableworld and Bedworld.

Graham Webb, chairman of the Clacton Town Partnership, believes the rising popularity of retail parks is a worry for town centres everywhere, including Clacton.

He said: “We have been told Sainsbury’s is closing because of a rent increase, which is unbelievable given today’s situation, and is mind-bogglingly bad for the town.

“The other store is small, so is not going to be able to take on many staff, so I worry for people’s jobs.

“And if more and more retail parks keep getting built, it is only going to make things worse for the town centre.

“There is going to be nowhere in the town centre for people to go to and it is going to make everything much harder for businesses.”