Consultations have begun on the potential closure of Perth’s H&M branch.
The store, based in St John’s Shopping Centre, plans to reopen on Monday but staff have been made aware of its potential closure.
The potential closure has caused concern among staff members, who may be moved to stores elsewhere.
One staff member, who wishes to remain anonymous, says moving to another store may not be possible due to travel costs.
They believe around 12 to 15 staff will be affected.
They said: “I may be deployed to other stores in the area including the Dundee branches or Edinburgh’s new branch opening this summer.
“I am hopeful I will be accommodated in a nearby store, but this might not be feasible as I’m on a low contract, so the travel costs will probably outweigh the wage I receive.
“I feel this might be the same situation for many of the younger staff on lower contracts.”
This comes after the clothing retailer announced last year that it would close hundreds of stores, but did not specify which stores would be affected.
A spokesperson for H&M said: “Our store in Perth is due to reopen on Monday 26th April, as per the latest government guidelines.
“We are however, in the beginning of consultations with our colleagues about the potential closure of this store.
“We are working to support our colleagues at this time.”
Changing high streets
Local politicians say they hope the store can remain open despite the fast-paced changes to high streets.
Councillor Chris Ahern of Perth and Kinross Council said: “It is very sad whenever we lose a shop on the high street.
“I hope that their consultations will result in the store remaining open.”
He added: “It is something we are going to see more of as a result of the last year and lockdowns, and the move by stores to online selling.
“It would be interesting to see if H&M are increasing their presence online and closing stores as a result of the increased online sales.
“Our high streets have been changing for a number of years but Covid-19 has accelerated that change, and I’m afraid we are all going to see a new type of city centre and high street in the future.”
Perth city centre has taken a significant hit in recent months, with numerous retailers having announced store closures.
In February last year, administrators revealed Beales Department Store would close for the final time.
The decision caused “immense disappointment” in the Fair City, with 11 other stores across the UK having also permanently shut its doors.
The store’s former premises on St John Street has now been put up for lease.
Meanwhile, High Street store Phase Eight announced its Perth store’s permanent closure last June, with the retailer having announced plans to relocate staff to other stores where possible.
The city centre was dealt further economic blow just two months later, when Argos revealed it would not be reopening.
By October, ‘institution’ school uniform shop, Stevensons Aitken and Niven made the decision to move elsewhere in the city.
It has since moved to the city’s Scott Street.