Hawick mill shuts shop and cafe as part of nationwide effort to help slow spread of Covid-19

Johnstons of Elgin in Hawick.Johnstons of Elgin in Hawick.
Johnstons of Elgin in Hawick. | Bill McBurnie Photography, Queens Cottage, Queen Street, Jedburgh. TD8 6EP mobile: 07740720063 e: [email protected]
Cashmere manufacturer Johnstons of Elgin has shut its Hawick shop and cafe to try to help curb the spread of coronavirus through Scotland.

Its Mansfield Road store is one of five run by the Moray-based firm across the UK, employing 110 staff, the others being in Edinburgh, London and St Andrews and Elgin itself.

Company chief executive Simon Cotton said: “It is with the health of both our customers and staff in mind that we have decided to close our stores with immediate effect.

“We will, of course, let everyone know when they re-open.

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“This is a difficult time that we all find ourselves in, and we want to keep our customers and our community aware of our plans.

“Our family-owned business has overcome many difficulties in its 222-year history. We will do so again by remaining focused on what is most important to us – our employees, customers and communities.

“We want to thank our amazing retail staff for their dedication and look forward to reopening with them as soon as possible. They are a wonderful team.

“We also want to thank all of our customers for being so loyal in supporting us in this difficult time.

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“We very much look forward to seeing them again as soon as possible.”

Production at its two mills, in Hawick and Elgin, will continue, and the firm, founded in 1797, has introduced new procedures intended to reduce the risk of infection being spread between employees.

Most of the firm’s current production is for the autumn and winter season and it expects trade to make a strong recovery later in the year after taking a hit over the coming months.

“Although we are seeing significant impact on spring and summer, our future order book is still strong and, because we make everything from fibre to finished products, we are not being affected by disruption to supply chains,” said Mr Cotton.

The firm’s online store, johnstonsofelgin.com, will remain open as usual.

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