Kirkcaldy shops: Present Shop to close after 28 years in Mercat Shopping Centre

One of the longest-serving shops in Kirkcaldy’s Mercat Shopping Centre will close its doors for the last time next week.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

The Present Shop will bring 28 years of trading to an end when the shutters come down on Monday, March 11. It outlasted every single chain store in the centre, with the exception of Boots, and the list is long; from Woolworths, Tesco, Mothercare, Halfords, Wimpey, Dixons, HMV, Iceland, Superdrug and Clintons.

So, it’s closure is the end of an era - one marked with a sense of sadness for staff, customers and owner Jim Collins.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Together with his partner Astrid, he opened the shop in 1996 and expanded into three units at the back of the Mercat; a location marked by the mechanical clown which spun around on a bar in the window for 20 years. Over the last three decades more than 150 people have been employed by The Present Shop which was one of the town’s main go-to destinations for gifts.

Jim Collins launched the Present Shop with his partner Astrid, and it is outlasted all but one of the big chain stores (Pic: Fife Free Press)Jim Collins launched the Present Shop with his partner Astrid, and it is outlasted all but one of the big chain stores (Pic: Fife Free Press)
Jim Collins launched the Present Shop with his partner Astrid, and it is outlasted all but one of the big chain stores (Pic: Fife Free Press)

The three in the Mercat were joined by one in Dundee, now closed, and one in Killin which will continue to operate as the rest of the business moves online.

Jim said: “We have met so many lovely people over the years, and during our closing down period we have been overwhelmed with kind comments and the recalling of many nostalgic memories of the past 28 years. We give our heartfelt thanks to all the customers and the staff for all their support. It wouldn't have been possible without you.”

The Present Shop started out in the unit which became Lunn Poly’s travel agent before moving to its present site.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“It took off from day one,” said Jim. “It those days it was very hard for an independent retailer to get into a shopping centre - they wanted all the big names. We started out next to Dixons, and we are still here. We’ve been online for 20 years, but the sad thing about that is some older customers don’t use the internet, and they also come into the shop for a chat with staff who they know - they often don’t have anyone else to talk to.”

Many customers have returned for the shop’s closing down sale, and they expressed sadness at its loss to the town centre. Lorraine McCallum from Buckhaven spoke for many when she said: “The shop is part of the Mercat and part of Kirkcaldy’s town centre. It is so vexing for the staff.”

Related topics: