More than 100 jobs are at risk after redundancies were announced at two Hyndburn firms.
This week workers at Senator International in Altham and Express Gifts in Accrington were told by bosses that jobs were to be cut.
The news comes as confusion continues to surround Accrington’s Ethel Austin store after it was dropped from a hitlist of stores set for closure last week – despite administrators announcing weeks ago that the Arndale Centre shop was set to close.
The store employs nine people.
Senator International, based at Altham Business Park, is a manufacturer of office furniture and employs 1,000 staff.
But commercial director Paul Clarke said that a disastrous start to the year has prompted the company to take action.
He said: "Unfortunately sales during 2010 have been disappointing, probably due to the uncertainty of the political and economic climate.
"So Senator needs to reduce its workforce and restructure its operations to adapt to the current level of orders being received.
"The whole workforce was addressed on Tuesday advising them of the current position and the need for a redundancy programme.
"The groups of people being considered were spoken to yesterday (Thursday). It is anticipated that the numbers involved will be around five per cent of the total workforce of over 1,000.
"This is the first major redundancy programme that Senator International has had to implement in its 28-year history.
"It is confident of the future for its remaining workforce and the many local suppliers who manufacture a large proportion of its components.
"These measures, as unpalatable as they are, will result in a more secure future for the company and its employees."
A worker at the firm, who did not wish to be named, said: "It is very worrying. What other manufacturing jobs are there around Accrington? It is not good.
"We are waiting to see what happens next.
"But the owner has been very good, and has told us exactly what is going on.
"He would not do it unless it was absolutely necessary. The government have said the recession is coming to an end but it is government orders which are not coming to us anymore."
Express Gifts, on Marlborough Road, Accrington, employs 65 people.
They were told on Monday that the warehouse will shut because a substantial investment has been made to run more services at the home shopping company’s central site in Church.
Bosses based at Express Gifts’ central Church Bridge House site, in Henry Street, have confirmed that there will be redundancies and staff will be consulted in the coming weeks.
A spokesman for the company said: "Some additional jobs will be created at the Church site which interested staff from among the 65 employed at Marlborough Road will have priority for, but it is anticipated that some redundancies will be necessary. It is impossible to say at this stage how many these will be."
He added: "The company has seen a progressive change over the past few years to customers ordering smaller numbers of items within an order but at higher, individual, item prices. This means that following a significant amount of new investment being made on one of the lines at the main site at Church, more items will be able to be picked there and the Marlborough Road site will no longer be needed."
No redundancies are anticipated in the Buying Sample Room area of Express Gifts Marlborough Road site, which will relocate to the Science Park on Hutton Street in Blackburn.
Council leader Peter Britcliffe was disappointed to hear the news and maintains that the recession is still very much alive in Hyndburn.
He said: "I have been saying for quite a few weeks that the recession has not ended here. There has been very little sign that it is over and this is very bad news.
"It is so hard at the moment for people to try and find another job. We are constantly hearing news like this. The council is trying its best to help but it is just a drop in the ocean."