Ayr store Hourstons to close after 100 years with 81 job losses
One of Ayr's oldest high street stores is to close after more than 100 years with the loss of 81 jobs.
Staff at Hourstons on Alloway Street were told on Monday that the department store would shut on 7 February.
The shop, which first opened its doors in Ayr in 1896, is the latest in a series of town centre stores to close in recent years.
South Ayrshire Council leader Douglas Campbell described the news as "truly heartbreaking" for the town.
He added: "Hourstons is synonymous with Ayr high street and its loss will be felt throughout South Ayrshire and beyond.
"Coming so soon after the announcement that HMV has gone into administration, this really is a very grim start to the year for the town centre in Ayr.
"Our focus right now is on doing everything we can to support those people who will soon be out of work.
"Our employability and skills team will be on hand to provide information, advice and support to help identify alternative employment opportunities and try to achieve the best possible outcomes for everyone affected by this difficult situation."
Local MP Bill Grant told BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland that it was bad news for Ayr's main shopping street.
He added: "It's a body blow to the town of Ayr but more importantly it's a body blow to the 80-or-so staff who are employed in Hourstons in Ayr, many have given a lifetime's service to that shop."
He said the closure of Hourstons was "pivotal" and it was time to take action to safeguard the future of the high street.
Hourstons is yet to make a public statement on the closure.