Ed­in­burgh Woollen Mill shocks Fort with news of shop clo­sures

The Oban Times - - Sport -

FORT WIL­LIAM has been shocked by the an­nounce­ment that two long-stand­ing High Street stores will close their doors this week­end, just a month be­fore Christ­mas.

Both Ed­in­burgh Woollen Mill shops will shut on Satur­day, with staff only in­formed of the clo­sure and job losses last week. The Mairi Mac­In­tyre High Street store and Ben Ne­vis High­land Cen­tre at Lochy­bridge, owned by the same com­pany, will re­main open. One of two Ed­in­burgh Woollen Mill stores in Oban is also set to close.

A spokesman from the cloth­ing com­pany, which has 380 stores across the UK, de­clined to com­ment and employees were asked not to dis­cuss the is­sue, so it is not known how many employees face re­dun­dancy or rea­sons for the clo­sure, but at least six peo­ple are thought to be los­ing their jobs.

Thomas MacLen­nan, High­land Coun­cil­lor and leader of Lochaber area com­mit­tee, said he was sorry to see the shops close, both of which have been open for more than 30 years.

He said: ‘It’s very dis­ap­point­ing news that the Ed­in­burgh Woollen Mill shops are clos­ing. They have been a fix­ture in Fort Wil­liam for a long time and it’s a bad time of year for peo­ple to be los­ing jobs. Fort Wil­liam High Street has been show­ing more signs of life re­cently with new shops and cafes open­ing, so it’s a shame to see two go.’

Neil Clark, chair­man of Fort Wil­liam Com­mu­nity Coun­cil, added: ‘It’s a shame be­cause the shops have been there for as long as I can re­mem­ber and the High Street seemed to be tak­ing a turn for the bet­ter re­cently. I al­ways won­dered how they sur­vived with four in one town, but they must have been prof­itable or they wouldn’t have been open for so long. It’s dis­ap­point­ing to hear there’s likely to be jobs lost, as it is when any jobs in the area are lost.’

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