Perth city centre has been dealt another blow as furniture and appliance store BrightHouse is set to close next month.
The high street pay-weekly retailer announced 10% of its shops will be axed.
Located on the corner of the Fair City’s High Street and King Edward Street, the unit is one of two Scottish branches set to close on March 23, with the Dundee branch inside the Wellgate shopping centre being the next closest shop.
Stirling’s branch is also set to close, but it will survive until the following week.
Perth’s store is adjacent to the High Street’s other casualty of 2019, luxury chocolatier Thorntons.
Offering furniture and home entertainment goods payable in weekly instalments at 69.9% APR, the firm has been subject to heavy criticism and has suffered as a result of the tightening of regulations.
The firm will transfer ongoing payments to nearby stores or online and are hoping to roll out PayPoint transactions for cash payments across the country.
A BrightHouse spokesperson said: “We are working to redeploy as many people as possible into alternative roles but redundancies will be inevitable.”
Local politicians have rallied to support staff whose jobs are at risk, but Perth and North Perthshire MP Pete Wishart believes that the retailer had been preying on poverty-stricken clients throughout its tenure in the Fair City.
The SNP MP said: “I am disappointed to see a retail unit on the High Street close and I will be ensuring all support is available to staff working at the Perth store.
“The rent-to-own sector has been exploiting low earners for years and the authorities are quite rightly tightening up the rules to create a more level playing field for those who don’t have other ways to access credit.”
Mid Scotland and Fife Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser added: “This is bad news for Perth’s city centre as this was a very prominent site.
“I know that there were concerns about the BrightHouse business model, but it is worrying if jobs are being lost. It’s always a concern to hear of a retail shop closing its doors.
“I hope the site in Perth High Street can be filled quickly but these are tough times for retail shops right across the country. It will be a blow to the city’s economy.
“You don’t like to hear of people losing their jobs. This is a sign of how many high street shops are struggling in this day and age.”