Kirkcaldy store closure will go ahead, say M&S bosses

Marks & Spencer in Kirkcaldy will close in 2019.
Marks & Spencer in Kirkcaldy will close in 2019.

Politicians from Kirkcaldy headed to London this week to meet with bosses from Marks & Spencer in the hope of making them re-think plans to close the town’s High Street store.

Kirkcaldy MP Lesley Laird, Fife Council co-leader councillor David Ross, Kirkcaldy councillor Rod Cavanagh (representing co-leader David Alexander) and Gordon Mole from Fife Council’s economic development team all travelled to Westminster on Monday to express their concerns to company representatives Tony Ginty and David Leach about the impact the store closure will have.

Lesley Laird MP (Pic: George McLuskie)

Lesley Laird MP (Pic: George McLuskie)

However, it soon became clear the company would not be changing its mind.

Labour MP Lesley Laird said: “Having met with the head of government affairs for Marks & Spencer, it was made very clear that the Kirkcaldy High street store will close.

“They are simply not getting the number of customers through their door that they need to sustain the store. What was reassuring was the commitment to redeploy staff.”

Cllr David Ross (Labour), Fife Council co-leader, said: “We expressed our deep concern about the store closure. But they made it clear this isn’t about Kirkcaldy specifically, but about their need to radically reduce their current properties and floor space.”

Councillor David Ross, Fife Council co-leader.

Councillor David Ross, Fife Council co-leader.

He added: “We believe that Kirkcaldy High Street can have a vibrant and sustainable future and is beginning to move in that direction. I believe this is a setback as they would have been a valuable partner in the transformation of our High Street, but these positive developments will go on.”

Cllr Rod Cavanagh (SNP) said he was pleased there would be no job losses.

“They explained fully the economics of keeping the store open and they said it was no longer a viable proposition. It was clear that customer preferences have dramatically changed over the past 18 months. We agreed to continue having discussions on ways to lessen the impact of the store closure.”

Councillor Rod Cavanagh outside the Marks & Spencer store in Kirkcaldy. He joined Lesley Laird MP, Fife Council Co Leader Cllr David Ross,  and Gordon Mole, from Fife Council's Economic Development Team who travelled to London to meet M&S bosses.

Councillor Rod Cavanagh outside the Marks & Spencer store in Kirkcaldy. He joined Lesley Laird MP, Fife Council Co Leader Cllr David Ross, and Gordon Mole, from Fife Council's Economic Development Team who travelled to London to meet M&S bosses.