Retail in Fife has been dealt another blow with the confirmation clothing store H&M will close its Dunfermline store next week.
The Swedish fashion outlet will shut up shop on its Kingsgate Centre store on January 19 but say the 15 staff have been offered positions at another “nearby” branch.
A spokesman said: “We can confirm that H&M Dunfermline will close on January 19.
“We have consulted with our colleagues at this store on an individual basis, and every member of staff at the store has been offered the opportunity to transfer to a nearby H&M branch.”
However, the company, the world’s second-biggest fashion retailer with more than 1,000 outlets worldwide, refused to be drawn on the reasons for the closure in Fife or elaborate on what alternatives had been offered to staff.
The decision to close the Dunfermline shop, which opened its two-floor store in the shopping mall in August 2012, leaves just the St Andrews branch remaining in Fife, with outlets further afield in Perth, Dundee, Edinburgh and Stirling.
The loss of the retail giant to the Kingsgate Centre has come as a huge blow, in what are already difficult trading conditions for many high street retailers.
Earlier this week, Dobbies Garden Centre announced it would be closing its Dalgety Bay branch in February with the loss of 27 jobs, while the Kirkcaldy branch of Debenhams will close for good this weekend.
Neil Mackie, centre manager at the Kingsgate, said: ” It’s a blow. The loss of the H&M name is a sad situation for the Kingsgate but we move onwards and upwards.
“The lettings team are on top of it. It’s an interesting situation as, yes, retail is a tough market, and that’s national, but what our guys are very good at is responding to the changes and finding uses that can go into void properties.
“As regards changes in the town centre, retail and traditional properties, they;re really ahead of the game and we can probably look forward to a fairly innovative approach to filling the gap.
“It’s one store in a big area. It’s still very positive and we’re attracting new business and we have very few voids.
“I’m also delighted that the jobs at H&M have been protected and the staff have been offered positions elsewhere.”