Larne community is reeling from plans to close a prominent Main Street store.
The staff of Dunnes Stores were told on Tuesday afternoon that the Larne branch is to close.
It is understood that the company employs 50 workers in the outlet.
The Irish clothing and grocery retailer has been trading in Larne town centre for more than 35 years.
It is one of 15 branches in Northern Ireland.
Last March, the chain closed all five of its outlets in Scotland.
In August, Dunnes was reportedly the top grocery retailer in the Republic of Ireland ahead of Tesco and SuperValu.
Mark Dobbin, vice-chairman, of Larne Traders’ Forum, said: “This news has come totally out of the blue. It will be devastating for Main Street where it is the biggest unit.
He indicated that some of the staff have worked in the store for three decades.
It is understood that the closing date will be announced by the company later today.