Marks & Spencer will close its shop in Kirkcaldy’s High Street on February 5.
The date was confirmed today as the famous retailer marked the end of 80 years in the town centre.
Staff were told in October that its days were numbered – they were called to an early morning briefing and given the shock news.
It is the single biggest closure to hit the High Street since Tesco quit in 2015 – and it could have an even more devastating impact than the loss of the Hunter Street supermarket.
M&S was regarded as the flagship store, one which stood for tradition and continuity.
Its closure will also leave a huge empty unit in the heart of the pedestrianised zone, just yards away from BhS which closed its doors in 2016. The shop has since been sold, but remains empty.
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Confirming the closure in October, Shona Lawrie, M&S head of region for Scotland, said: “The decision to close M&S Kirkcaldy was incredibly difficult – we know we have many loyal customers who will be disappointed by the news.
“Closing and relocating stores is never easy but it is vital for the future of M&S.”
The closure plan was condemned by a host of local politicians and met with anger by long-standing customers and town centre business leaders.
The majority of staff from the High Street will stay with the company, with some moving to the retail park, and others heading up the A92 to the new foodhall in Glenrothes which opens its doors on Wednesday, February 6.
The new outlet, directly opposite the Kingdom Centre at the new Henge Retail Park, will have 42 members of staff, led by Ryan O’Donovan who is currently in charge of the Kirkcaldy High street shop.
He, said: “M&S has served customers across the Fife region for generations and my team and I are really excited about being able to extend our reach into Glenrothes.
“We’ll be working hard to provide outstanding service for the community and our new store will offer all the everyday essentials, as well as seasonal inspiration and innovation.
“Cutting the ribbon to open our foodhall and welcoming customers in for the first time will be a great moment for the team. I hope that lots of local residents will pop down and join us to celebrate.”
Ironically, the closure of Kirkcaldy and switch up Glenrothes comes as M&S celebrates its centenary in Scotland.