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M&Co reveals which stores will be saved as firm faces virus crisis

PUBLISHED: 12:33 07 August 2020 | UPDATED: 14:05 07 August 2020

M&Co in Dereham is one of the stores saved from being closed. Pic: Archant

M&Co in Dereham is one of the stores saved from being closed. Pic: Archant

Archant

Retailer M&Co is looking to partner with other stores in a bid to save shops in Norfolk’s high streets.

The firm announced earlier this week it was closing 47 stores including one in Suffolk. But it released a statement saying that the shops in Cromer, Fakenham, Hunstanton, Diss and Dereham were definitely going to be saved out of 200 nationwide, preserving 2,200 jobs. But 380 staff from other stores will be made redundant.

MORE: Staff redundancies confirmed at Angling Direct

However the boss of the firm, founded in 1961, said he was looking to collaborate with other retailers to keep shops open in local high streets.

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The company appointed administrators in April as the coronavirus outbreak forced the closure of stores.

Chief executive Andy McGeoch said: “Covid has been by far the biggest challenge our family business has faced in almost 60 years, and I am really pleased that we have been able to maintain a presence in over 200 communities.

“Covid-19 means many people don’t feel comfortable travelling on public transport or visiting busy city centres and that can be good news for local High Street stores like M&Co. That’s why we are looking at ways of working in partnership with other local retailers to highlight the tremendous range of shopping that can be found in communities like this all over the country.

“Local economies rely to a huge degree on their town centres and we have seen too many high streets hollowed out by successive shop closures. More and more people are beginning to realise that, if they don’t support their town centres, everyone’s quality of living really takes a hit, so we are proud to be playing a part in the drive to shop locally.

“The response from our customers during lockdown was phenomenal. We had a steady stream of requests for updates via M&Co’s Facebook pages, with some customers even posting letters through the doors asking when we were reopening. It’s hugely encouraging to hear our customers say how much they have missed us after months away.”

The administration process, which is being managed by Deloitte, will see the estate reduced from 265 to 218 stores.


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