Long-standing Kirkcaldy gift shop set to close

The Present Shop Extra in KIrkcaldy's Mercat Shopping Centre is to close after eight years.
The Present Shop Extra in KIrkcaldy's Mercat Shopping Centre is to close after eight years.

Kirkcaldy town centre has been hit by another shop closure with the Present Shop Extra set to pull down the shutters for the last time later this month.

The Mercat-based business, which has been trading for the last eight years, will close, though jobs will not be lost with all staff being transferred over to the main Present Shop store, situated next door.

Owner Jim Collins, who has traded in the shopping centre for the past 22 years, said high business rates, reduced footfall and online shopping were to blame.

“It has come to the point where we could no longer sustain the three shops - we also own Hallmark – so we’ve had to make the difficult decision to close one store in order to safeguard not only our present business, but also our long-term future,” explained Mr Collins.

“I have a very loyal workforce of 16 employees, and those jobs, I’m happy to say, will remain.”

Mr Collins said a number of bigger store closures to hit the town in the last couple of years have had a big impact on Kirkcaldy town centre.

“The loss of big stores like BHS and the Subway food court have had a big effect. Less shops means less people coming into the town and that inevitably is going to drastically affect any business.”

With more and more shoppers opting to buy online or at out of town retail parks, the difficulty faced by town centre traders is reflected in the significant drop in footfall in recent years.

A recent retail report confirmed that In 2010 the shopping centre received almost seven million shoppers, that figure dropped to 5.4m in 2014, and in 2017 fell to 4.5m.

With sale signs now up, Mr Collins said a final closing date is currently being negotiated with the Landlords.

“I want to thank all those who have supported us over the years and will continue to do so at our other store. We will be incorporating some of the key lines, such as the balloons sales, into our existing shop.”