McEwens site deal so good for city

Perthshire Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - Rachel Clark

Busi­nesses in St John Street have said they are “de­lighted” to hear the for­mer McEwens of Perth de­part­ment store is to be taken over by Bournemouth-based Beales.

The in­de­pen­dent de­part­ment store an­nounced it had pur­chased the iconic Fair City site at the start of the week, as fea­tured in Tues­day’s PA.

Tony Brown, CEO of Beales, praised the sup­port the firm has re­ceived so far from Perth and Kin­ross Coun­cil and said the his­toric premises could be given a new lease of life and opened once more by Novem­ber.

Fol­low­ing the news, the PA asked nearby busi­nesses on St John Street what they thought of the an­nounce­ment.

Jane Camp­bell from Bank ski store, said: “I am de­lighted, it will be won­der­ful to see the build­ing in use again.

“It is bound to in­crease foot­fall in the whole town, there will be more in­ter­est and it will make the town more ap­peal­ing again and make St John Street not as tired look­ing, so very good news.

“I was de­lighted when I heard the news be­cause ev­ery cus­tomer who comes in re­marks on how said it is for Perth to lose such a won­der­ful out­let like McEwens. Here’s hop­ing this takes its place.”

Au­drey Maestri from The Rose House cafe and florist added: “I am over the moon, its nice to know there is go­ing to be a lot of jobs for peo­ple, and more cus­tomers will have a knock-on ef­fect for smaller busi­nesses.

“They [from Beales] seem re­ally nice, very open, keen and en­thu­si­as­tic. Hav­ing empty shops is bad enough, but its worse hav­ing a big shop like that empty. And it will be open in time for Christ­mas, so good luck to them!”

Linda Hodes from Kids In The City said: “I think it is re­ally good, it has got to be good be­cause it will bring more peo­ple in.

“I am sur­prised it is a de­part­ment store, but that is good be­cause it will fill most of the build­ing. The queue formed down the street when McEwens an­nounced the clo­sure in March

“They seem like a good es­tab­lished com­pany and good that its in­de­pen­dent.

“I hope they will spend some money do­ing the place up and mak­ing it re­ally nice, be­cause it will bring busi­ness to the street.

“I think Perth is a great place for shop­ping and lots of peo­ple will come from fur­ther afield for a de­part­ment store.”

Dar­ren Ritchie from High­land Health Foods added: “I’m very happy. I think it is a good thing for the street and for the town, be­cause there’s noth­ing good about an empty shop.

“I think it will be pos­i­tive and bring peo­ple into the street but I’m sur­prised they are go­ing to open so quickly to get the Christ­mas trade. Ev­ery­one is re­ally happy.”

It will be won­der­ful to see the build­ing in use again . . . very good news . . .

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