Staff branch out to replace widow’s sentimental gift
STAFF at Fort William’s M&Co fashion shop have helped an Inverlochy woman replace the last gift her late husband gave her.
The workers helped Annemarie MacLachlan track down a replacement faux fur coat which she had received from her husband Don, who died suddenly in November.
The couple had planned to go to Vienna that month with their son Jon and his fiancée Kerry, but in the circumstances Mrs MacLachlan decided not to go.
Instead, the trio took a trip to Edinburgh for three days.
It was only then, while looking for her winter coat for the trip, that Mrs MacLachlan realised she did not have it.
She thought she must have left it somewhere during a visit to Ballater the previous April.
The couple went to Anerdeenshire burgh for a break to celebrate Mr MacLachlan’s 60th birthday and to see son Jon take part in a 10k race in Balmoral. It was here that the last photographs of Mrs MacLachlan wearing the coat were taken.
After calling the Hilton Lodge in Ballater, where they had stayed, to see if she had left it there with no luck, Mrs MacLachlan searched high and low in her house, including the loft, but to no avail.
She said: ‘I just don’t know what I did with it. I thought that was it.’
With the coat holding great sentimental value, Mrs MacLachlan ws reluctant to give up, so in December, while visiting family in Aberdeenshire, she visited the Stonehaven branch of M&Co where she was told there were none left in stock.
She did, however, get details of the coat as a staff member at that store had bought the same one herself.
When she returned home, Mrs MacLachlan took the details into the Fort William branch, where she is a regular customer and has taken part in the shop’s charity fashion show, and store manager Kerry Allman emailed every branch in Scotland, as well as head office, to try and find a replacement coat.
Ms Allman said: ‘Annemarie is one of my best customers. She comes in and buys whole wardrobes for holidays and spends hours in the shop, so I’d got to know her really well.’
She says she was beginning to lose hope when the store at St Enoch’s Centre, Glasgow, said they had the coat in the right size.
‘When I told Annemarie she burst into tears,’ she said
Mrs MacLachlan collected the coat on Saturday.
‘It’s been amazing and just wonderful,’ she said. ‘What they’ve done is like something off the telly. M&Co pulled out all the stops on a very sad occasion and it was a very happy ending.’
Ms Allman added: ‘It’s just great. All of us wanted to get one for her because it’s AnneMarie and we’ve all got to know her over the years.’
Annemarie MacLachlan in her new coat with M&Co manager Kerry Allman, back left, and assistant manager Taylor Matheson.