SSE has announced that it is taking the ‘difficult’ decision to close its remaining Scottish Hydro Electric shops in Scotland, one being in Peterhead, along with its associated online shop.
The Peterhead branch has three employees who may now be facing redundancy if they cannot be redeployed.
The retail shops sell electrical and white goods and are predominately sited across the north of the country.
SSE has entered into consultation with its 119 employees affected by the planned closures and will discuss possible redeployment within the SSE plc group.
A spokesperson for the energy firm said: “We plan to avoid redundancies wherever possible, although if this unavoidable, enhanced terms will be offered to affected employees during the consultation process”
Stephen Forbes, SSE director of Domestic Retail, blamed changing shopping habits and more customer choice, resulting in the shops trading at a loss 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 street 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.”
All of the shops are expected to be closed by Sunday, May 15.
SSE currently employs around 6000 people across Scotland in total. They claim to contribute more than £1bn to the Scottish economy.