Nine jobs set to be lost as Clarks closes its Galashiels shoe shop

Nine jobs at a Galashiels shoe shop are set to go now it’s been confirmed that it won’t be reopening after the current Covid-19 lockdown ends.

By Paul Kelly
Wednesday, 17th June 2020, 11:12 am
Updated Wednesday, 17th June 2020, 12:25 pm
Councillor Euan Jardine at Clarks in Galashiels.
Councillor Euan Jardine at Clarks in Galashiels.

National chain Clarks is shuttingthe branch at Gala Water Retail Park, in Huddersfield Street, it opened 13 years ago.

That news comes after the Somerset-based retailer announced last month that it plans to cut 900 jobs across the UK as a part of a major shake-up of the 195-year-old business.

A spokesperson said: “At Clarks, we continually review all of our stores to ensure that they are the right size and located in the right areas in order to provide the best possible offering and environment to our customers.

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The Clarks shoe store in Galashiels.

“After careful consideration, we have decided to no longer trade at Galashiels.

“Customers can continue to shop from our full range of products online and at our nearby stores in Edinburgh.”

That decision is a source of particular sadness for Galashiels councillor Euan Jardine as he is a former employee of the shop.

Mr Jardine said: “I was one of the first employees hired by Clarks in 2007 and worked there until 2014.

“I have some great memories as an employee in the company, so when I heard last week that there was a possibility that it might close, I emailed the chief executive of the company for some answers and pleaded for him to change his mind on this matter.

“I know how well the store can perform, so I am deeply saddened by the news it is to close.

“My heart and thoughts go out to those affected by this news, and it really is a serious blow to the region for a world-renowned store like Clarks to choose to close its doors on the Borders public.”

Fellow Galashiels councillor Harry Scott also laments the closure, saying: “This is yet more very disappointing news for Galashiels.

“My first sympathy is with the staff who may lose their jobs, and it also means the loss of another quality shop from the town.

“I’m guessing that online shopping has had an effect on this company, as it has on others, and Covid-19 has been the final straw. I just hope when this is all over that we can bring some life back into the shopping experience of the town, but I am in no doubt that will be a difficult struggle.

“Long term I am optimistic about the town. It is centrally located in the region with good communication links, and there is, hopefully, investment on the horizon, but unfortunately short term we are going to have a difficult time.”

Galashiels’ other councillor, Andy Anderson, added: “I am really disappointed to hear that Clarks will be moving out of Galashiels.

“This will be a real blow to its employees, and they have my sympathies and hopes that they are able to find alternative employment in these difficult times.”

I am aware that the company was in difficulty before the pandemic and closed many stores last year and had planned to close more over the next five years.

“I can only assume that with the lockdown restrictions and general downturn in the economy that they must have decided to close their Galashiels store now.”