Present Shop owners mark 20 years at Mercat

The Present Shop owners and staff celebrating 20 years of business in the Mercat.
The Present Shop owners and staff celebrating 20 years of business in the Mercat.

A much-loved feature of Kirkcaldy’s town centre is celebrating 20 years in the Lang Toun.

The Present Shop in the Mercat Centre opened in 1996 with only four members of staff. It now has 19 employees across three retail units: the Present Shop, TPS2 and the Present Shop Extra.

It’s been a boon for local business as the only other stores that have stayed the distance in the Mercat are the chains Marks & Spencer, Boots and Superdrug.

Astrid Svenson, Present Shop co-owner, said: “Back in 1996 and after being open for just six months, the landlords asked us to move to a shop twice the size of the original store and in a quieter part of the centre.

“Although daunting as it was, we moved and the Present Shop as it is today was opened.”

And it was love at first sight when he first came to the town.

“We considered other towns in Scotland but the moment we arrived in Kirkcaldy we knew it was the place for us.”

He added: “It proved to be the right decision with the calibre and dedication of the staff we have employed over the years.

“We have had massive support for our staff and they have helped the store develop over the last 20 years.”

Fellow co-owner Jim Collins said: “Since those beginnings we have also developed a successful online presence. As is very well documented, retail trade is very challenging at the moment.

“One reason for our longevity is that we are small enough to react to trends quickly and have constantly tried to stay ahead of the game.”

To celebrate the milestone they offered four days of 20% discount last weekend as a thank you to all their customers who have “been so loyal to us in our first 20 years”.