WORKERS have been left "shocked and devastated" by Kwik Save's decision to axe 79 stores, union officials said.
Huddersfield-based Kwik Save closed 79 stores yesterday in an effort to cut costs.
But shopworkers' union Usdaw said employees had been left stunned by the speed of the closures.
National officer Joanne McGuinness said union officials were meeting Kwik Save bosses to discuss how they planned to secure the future of the remaining 147 stores.
Usdaw said it had also expressed the view that long-serving and loyal staff deserved a longer consultation period before closure.
Ms McGuinness said: "Usdaw will be supporting members who have been made redundant throughout what is clearly going to be a difficult and worrying time and making sure they get their full redundancy payments.
"We will be using our contacts in the retail sector to alert other retailers that experienced and hard-working staff - who have done a brilliant job in keeping their stores open in difficult circumstances - are available."
Kwik Save, which has its headquarters at Fitzwilliam Street, said it regretted the closures but insisted they were vital if the company was to cut costs and secure its future.
Ten stores in Yorkshire are among those to close, including three at Doncaster and others at Halifax, Leeds, Selby, Ilkley and Wetherby.
A statement by the firm said: "It is with regret that Kwik Save has had to make this difficult decision.
"However, in order to enable the business to succeed, the Kwik Save management team has had to announce these cutbacks to secure the future of the business.
"Kwik Save would like to thank all of its staff affected by this regrettable situation for their commitment to the company over the years."