Two M&Co stores in Cornwall have closed with staff members saying they were given no warning.
In the latest blow to a high street struggling to recover after the coronavirus lockdown, the clothing retailer announced yesterday that 50 of its stores would be closing as it prepared to enter a “pre-pack administration” deal.
In a post on a local Facebook group, a staff member at the Bodmin store said the team were not made aware about the closure until 7pm yesterday – after the store had closed for the last time.
They wrote: “My staff and I at M&Co would like to take this opportunity to thank all our past customers, unfortunately, our last day of trading in Bodmin was today. None of us were made aware until 7pm tonight and unfortunately, all eight of us have been made redundant. We would like to thank you for your support over many years and we will miss you.”
A Facebook page for the M&Co branch in Helston confirmed that the store was closing. The post said: “We are sad to say our time in Helston has come to an end. Your nearest store is Camborne.”
Former mayor of Bodmin and town councillor, Cllr Andy Coppin, said he was “disappointed” with the closure of a shop that had been a part of the town’s high streets since the 1980s.
He said: “I am disappointed that a large chain shop has decided to close after being in the town’s high street for many, many years. With Bodmin’s growing population and a surge of new housing, it seems to me to be a short-sighted decision to close at this time with other businesses such as Bodmin Jail about to re-open, bringing additional footfall to the town centre.
“I’m hopeful this prime, centrally located large shop in the town centre won’t remain empty for long and will be snapped up by a company with a more positive view of the future of Bodmin.”
Residents of Bodmin have responded to the announcement, with many expressing sadness at the loss of the store.
Commenting on the staff member’s post, one person said: “Absolutely shocked and totally disgusted at the way you have all been treated. I believed that M&Co was a reputable family business that believed in morality and ethics. Your treatment proves otherwise. I do not know if the business will continue in one form or another, but I will no longer shop with them. Thank you ‘one and all’ who worked in the shop your professionalism, helpful and friendly manner was always admired and appreciated, and I would like to wish you good luck for the future.”
Another said they were sorry to hear the news, adding: “It’s a lovely store and staff. I’d like to say thank you to all of them and wish them all the very best in the future, you will be missed.”
Several residents said how much they will miss shopping at the store. One wrote: “I for one will really miss buying my clothes there. You were all so helpful. Thank you for all the hard work that you put into making it such a lovely shop for customers. I’m sorry to hear that you were treated like that and I wish you all the best for the future.”
Another wrote: “I’m so sorry to hear this. The way you were all told- redundancy is an awful shock. I was made redundant last week, and the days become a rollercoaster but you will all emerge more positive from this and I wish you all the happiness for the future.”
Helston shoppers also expressed their disappointment.
Commenting on the Facebook post on the store’s Facebook page, one person said: “So sorry to read this.”
Another said: “Such a shame.”
M&Co has been approached for comment.