Edinburgh Woollen Mill shocks Fort with news of shop closures
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.’