THE boss of one of Scotland’s most successful firms is reassuring customers it’s business as usual in Kirkcaldy - despite administrators being called in.
That was the message from Lee Miller, director of the Ceramic Tile Warehouse after a “tough” deal was struck to ensure the company’s survival.
Mr Miller said: “For five years now we’ve suffered continuous decline and every six months we’ve had to cut our cloth accordingly in every way possible but it got to the stage where we had to do something to be able to move the company forward.”
He explained: “We are heavily reliant on the housing market and since the recession kicked in our business has been dramatically affected.
“Nothing is getting built and nobody is moving house. People are also tightening their belts and ‘big-ticket’ sales, such as bathrooms and kitchens are down.”
A deal was struck last Friday which saved the firm’s three biggest branches - Kirkcaldy, Dunfermline and Dundee - and jobs for 16 people.
However, branches in Perth, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Falkirk had to go, along with seven staff.
Two staff were also made redundant at the firm’s head office at Mitchelston Industrial Estate in Kirkcaldy.
Mr Miller (37) said: “I’d like to thank those people for their hard work and for their understanding of what was a tough deal. The alternative was burying our head in the sand and losing everything.”
According to Mr Miller, the deal struck would secure a long-term future for the family-run company and its remaining staff.
He vowed: “This is another chapter for us. I’d like to reassure customers that in the three shops it’s business as usual.”
Also last week, the furniture retail store Walmsley’s closed on Whytescauseway with the loss of two jobs.
A spokesperson for administrator PCR said the firm - which had 24 stores across the UK and 105 staff - had gone into administration in November.
However, the Kirkcaldy store was kept open until all existing customer orders had been fulfilled.
“Unfortunately Walmsley has, like so many other retail businesses, suffered from the economic recession that has blighted the British high street,” he said.
On Kirkcaldy High Street, home ware store Ponden Home, owned by Edinburgh Woollen Mill, is also holding a closing down sale.
A spokesman said: “Ponden Homes is a thriving business but with regards to that partcular store we are doing everything possible to try to keep it open - and that may include looking at alternative locations in Kirkcaldy.”