New Look has confirmed its Kirkcaldy High Street shop will close.
The fashion chain is trying to find alternative employment for the Fife workers in other branches.
The shop’s windows highlight a closing down sale with up to 60% off. It will permanently shut on Monday.
But the latest blow to a Fife high street is not the usual case of a retailer pulling out because of declining sales.
Instead New Look has been evicted by its landlord.
Why New Look is leaving Kirkcaldy
The landlord of the New Look unit is also the man leading plans to demolish the Postings Shopping Centre in Kirkcaldy for a £50m residential development.
Tahir Ali purchased the three-acre shopping centre of the Fife town for just over £300,000 in 2019 after it originally went up for auction with a £1 price tag.
Following this he also purchased several High Street shops – including New Look – to reduce the chances there would be objections to his demolition plans.
These were approved by Fife Council in October and work will start next month.
Mr Ali said: “If I hadn’t bought New Look and the other High Street properties, there could potentially have been a problem with the demolition.
“As a landlord, I had a break clause with New Look.
“I had been in discussions with New Look and hoped they might be able to continue trading. But it would have meant the shop closing for a little while.
“The timings meant I had to serve notice on the shop.”
New Look leaving is for ‘greater good’ says landlord
Mr Ali said it might have been possible to demolish the Postings without interrupting trade at New Look. However, he did not want to take any risks.
The demolition process will last around five months.
“Part of the New Look unit goes under the Postings,” he said.
“There were ways we might have been able to do the demolition with it still open but it’s not worth taking any risks for me.
“No landlord wants a vacant unit. New Look leaving is the last thing I wanted to do but I’m looking at the bigger project here.
“We had to serve the notice – the bigger project has to succeed. It’s for the greater good.
“It’s unfortunate in the short term. Hopefully they will repurpose their staff but it means the demolition can move forward.”
New Look statement on Kirkcaldy exit
A New Look spokesperson said: “Regrettably, our New Look store in Kirkcaldy is closing following the landlord’s request to take the property back and exit the lease early.
“We are now focusing on supporting our affected store colleagues and finding suitable alternative roles for them within the business wherever possible.
“New Look has loved being part of the local community. We would like to thank all of our customers in the local area.”