The news that M&Co will close all its 170 stores across the UK and lay off almost 2,000 jobs is a “huge blow” for local communities, according to Colin Smyth MSP.

The retailer has a store in Castle Douglas, five in Ayrshire, one in Lanark and one in Hawick.

It appointed administrators for a second time at the end of last year, after previously collapsing in 2020.

The brand has been bought by AK Retail Holdings but the purchase did not include physical stores, meaning they will now close down at Easter.

Colin Smyth said: “This is devastating news for staff at M&Co stores across the south of Scotland.

“This has been a dreadful couple of years for retail and the news will be the last thing they wanted to hear. My thoughts are very much with them and their families.

“Unfortunately, M&Co staff have been living with this uncertainty for a long time. In August 2020, M&Co entered administration for the first time and while a number of branches were closed that time, many re-opened.

“This is another blow for our High Street and further proof that it needs as much support as possible.”

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