Tayside and Central Scotland

McEwens of Perth department store closes with the loss of 110 jobs

McEwens of Perth
Image caption The company has traded for nearly 150 years in Perth

Department store McEwens of Perth has gone into administration with the loss of 110 jobs.

The company has traded at its St John Street site since March 1868 and also has branches in Ballater and Oban.

Company chairman John Bullough said the decision was made "with great sadness and regret".

The closure of the store was described by the leader of Perth and Kinross Council Ian Miller as "a significant loss for Perth and the wider region".

It has been confirmed that 64 employees were made redundant immediately, with 46 staff members remaining to assist the joint administrators.

The Ballater and Oban branches were closed with immediate effect, but the Perth store will reopen on Friday for a closing down sale.

In a statement, Mr Bullough and his wife Georgina said: "Despite our exhaustive search for investor and partner solutions, all negotiations with the bank have failed and unfortunately we have run out of options.

"Our thoughts are with all 130 wonderful McEwens staff who face redundancy.

"We are grateful to them for their hard work and all our friends and colleagues for their advice and support.

"Although this is extremely disappointing and sad for us both as this comes at great personal cost, we can stand tall in the knowledge that we have done everything in our power to support the business and the city centre of Perth."

Image caption Shoppers arriving at the store found the doors locked

Blair Nimmo and Gerard Friar of KPMG have been appointed as joint administrators of the company.

Mr Nimmo, who is KPMG's UK head of restructuring, said: "Despite the directors' best efforts, McEwens of Perth continued to incur trading losses as a result of the many challenges being felt by the retail sector.

"Inevitably this has led to the unfortunate demise of a well-known and highly-regarded brand.

"We have started a closing down sale in a bid to realise assets, and are grateful to the remaining staff for their efforts and assistance.

"We are working with those staff made redundant to ensure they receive the necessary support from relevant agencies."

Shoppers arriving at the store found the doors locked and delivery drivers were turned away.

It is understood staff were called last night and told to be in the store for a 09:00 meeting.

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