A DUNBAR supermarket has closed with the loss of 25 jobs - just three months after it began trading.

Haldanes, on Countess Crescent, has shut after the company said the store "wasn't trading to the standards that were expected of it".

The shop opened on March 13 after taking over from Somerfield, and kept on full-time and part-time members of staff.

The company itself only began trading in October last year - opening its first store in Prestonpans. It has since opened another in Tranent.

In a statement, the company's chairman, Arthur Harris, said it was "regrettable" that the company had to close the Dunbar store, which shut last Wednesday.

It has also closed another store in Yorkshire, while staff in all shops across the UK have been offered the chance to take voluntary redundancy.

The statement from Mr Harris read: "It is not where we wanted to be at this stage. However, the position was created by circumstances out of our control, and we now have to ensure that Haldanes moves forward and returns the stores to our initial forecasts." A spokesman for the company - which tells customers on its website that 'a change is coming. . . that will make you smile!' - confirmed there were no further planned store closures in East Lothian or anywhere else in the country.

Interest He told the Courier: "The company is at present still pursuing acquisitions on both sides of the border. In fact, it is in the latter stages of concluding two more in Scotland." He refused to reveal whether either of the two stores was in East Lothian, and said staff in Dunbar were consulted on the closure.

Dunbar ward councillor Norman Hampshire told the Courier that there has been interest in the shop from other supermarket chains.

"I think the way the business operated, its prices were not very competitive with lots of other businesses in the town, therefore lots of people in the community didn't support that business," he said.

"I am aware that there are other retail operators who are interested in Dunbar and I think they've been looking to take that shop.

"This is a difficult time and there is not a lot of opportunity out there for people, but the council will try to help anybody they can, whether it's people starting a business on their own or helping people back into training to get skills for another job." Councillor Jacquie Bell added: "It is disappointing that we found out about this pretty much at short notice and it's more jobs that are going.

"Because it's the private sector, there's nothing that we can really do to shore them up."