Up to 140 jobs are set to go at a distribution centre outside Belfast run by logistics firm DHL for Marks & Spencer.
The jobs at the warehouse at Mallusk are to go as part of the firm’s ongoing drive to streamline and centralise distribution in Great Britain, a spokesman said.
Distribution is one of three elements carried out at the facility for M&S by DHL which said it was to begin discussions with staff with a view to that section of the business closing down next year.
Ulster Unionist MLA Danny Kinahan said the news was terrible for his South Antrim constituency.
Mr Kinahan said: “Today’s news that 140 jobs are at risk at the M&S Warehouse in Mallusk in Newtownabbey will come as a real shock to many people and would have a major impact on the area.
“I fully understand that companies will look to restructure their businesses during tough economic times but the decision by Marks & Spencer to move its distribution centre away from Mallusk to England and Scotland is terrible news for those workers and their families affected.
‘It is essential that the Executive does all in its power to mitigate these job losses and there is a particular need for action on the part of the Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment and Invest NI to ensure that help and support is made available for those workers who lose their jobs in terms of retraining, and also to ensure that a major effort is made to attract new jobs and investment to the area.”
The news comes as Marks and Spencer announces four stores will close in the Republic later this month, with the loss of 180 jobs.
The retail giant announced the decision after a strategic store review in the Republic of Ireland and within weeks will close sites in Mullingar, Co Westmeath; Tallaght, Dublin 24; Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin; and Naas, Co Kildare.