THE Glenrothes branch of a major clothing chain has closed, reports MIKE DELANEY.
Peacocks shut its doors for the final time last Wednesday night after it was left out of a multi-million pounds ‘rescue’ deal.
It is believed staff were only told that the shop wasn’t among those which would be taken over by Edinburgh Woollen Mill shortly before they turned off the lights at the end of what proved to be the last day of trading.
By Thursday, hand-written signs had been plastered all over the doors and shop windows saying it was shut.
The Kingdom Centre store, which specialised in discount clothing, went into administration in January, owing £700 million in debts and was judged to be the biggest retail failure since the collapse of the iconic Woolworth chain at the height of the financial crisis in 2008.
At the time, the Gazette was told that the store was profitable, although other parts of the company were struggling.
On Wednesday afternoon, one staff member said they believed some sort of decision on the store’s future was imminent, but added: “We don’t know what is happening, but we’ve been telling customers to get anything they want now and to spend their vouchers in case we’re not here much longer.”
It is not known if any of the dozen staff who were employed at Glenrothes will transfer to Leven - the sole remaining branch in Fife after the Kirkcaldy and Dunfermline outlets also closed.
A total of 224 throughout Britain have suffered a similar fate, taking 3,100 jobs with them. Around 250 staff had already been paid off when administrators were called in.
Three hundred and thirty eight sstores, 57 concessions in places like airports, three distribution centres and headquarters offices have been bought out by Langhholm-based EWM, but it is not yet clear what the overall number of jobs saved will be.
EWM previously picked-up two other chains which once had shops in the mall - homewares specialists Ponden Mill and linen store Roseby’s - and merged them as Ponden Home two years ago.
The main shop workers union, USDAW, said it would be seeking immediate talks with the new owners, after describing the closures as “one of the worst redundancy situations ofd recent years with Scotland d being particularly hard-hit.”
Only fifteen of the 45 stores have survived here along with probably as few as 150 of 600 jobs.
A Kingdom Centre spokeswoman expressed sadness at the closure, but made no further comment.
Peacocks is the second clothing store in the centre to close in recent months, after d2 shut its doors at the end of December.