New Fife Department Store announces opening date in Kirkcaldy High Street

The doors to a new store will open in the heart of Kirkcaldy’s High Street next week.

Tuesday, 2nd November 2021, 11:53 am

The new Fife Department Store, run by property investor Tahir Ali, will replace the 15-17 concession store which collapsed just weeks after moving into the former Debenhams.

The 20,000 sq ft store will give a new start to the concessions hit by the sudden closure of the troubled business - and the first floor will focus solely on quality affordable women’s and children’s wear with a sprinkle of good menswear.

The doors to Fife Department Store are set to open on Thursday, November 11.

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Tahir Ali is set to launch the new department store in Kirkcaldy

Mr Ali,’s property development and asset management company, Evergold, owns the building along with the former Postings Centre.

He has also bought up several other adjacent premises including New Look.

His decision to remove 15-17 and start again came after his own business was owed £100,000 in unpaid rent.

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Kirkcaldy's 15-17 concession store collapses just weeks after opening
The former Debenhams store in Kirkcaldy

Mr Ali inherited the controversial concessions business as a tenant when he bought the building.

It had signed a ten-year lease on the property, but formally served that deal on October 31, just weeks after opening amid claims by some concessions they were out of pocket.

It was 15-17's second store in Scotland after launching in Ayr town centre.

Sources said the company's signage was put up and then taken down amid claims of unpaid bills, while it also couldn’t afford to repair the escalator, leaving the top floor empty.

Mr Ali was in town last week after being alerted by traders and contractors.

He took the decision to remove 15-17, and start again working with the existing store management team.

He said: ““I felt that allowing them to remain at my property would have been a far worse predicament for Kirkcaldy and me.

“Having been delighted at how well the local Kirkcaldy management team was operating the store, and given the fact that there is such a limited choice of beauty products, women’s fashion and children’s wear along the High Street, I have decided to take the opportunity to bring on board a knowledgeable team of retail suppliers and specialists to help launch and support our own High Street department store.”

The new store will also feature the cafe run by 3Beans Coffee chain - it also runs the nearby Cupcake Coffee and has a base in The Enlightenments Centre in the east end of the High Street.

Mr Ali said: “It would have been a great shame to leave a gap in Kirkcaldy High Street when there exists such an exciting opportunity to develop a local and varied department store in the heart of the town’s pedestrianised centre to the benefit of the local community.

“Whilst we all find ourselves in extremely challenging times, I am confident that Fife Department Store will prove popular with the local community and consumers, and we all look forward to a busy trading period in the run up to the festive season and beyond,” he said.

15-17 have been contacted several times for comment, but the company has not responded.

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