Watt Brothers' iconic Sauchiehall Street to close

Administrators at KPMG have confirmed the flagship store of Scottish retailer Watt Brothers, which collapsed into administration last month, will close in mid-December.

Friday, 15th November 2019, 5:49 pm
Watt Brothers, which traces its roots back to the late 1800s, will close its flagship Glasgow store next month. Picture: Michael Gillen

The fourth generation family-owned business operated a chain of department stores throughout Scotland, before entering administration on 18 October, leading to hundreds of job losses.

Following its appointment, KPMG announced that the company’s ten leasehold stores would close immediately, while the flagship Sauchiehall Street store would remain open to allow stock to be cleared.

KPMG said last month that it had "no other option" but to make 229 of Watt Brothers’ 306 employees redundant with immediate effect, as it attempts to secure a buyer for the business and its assets.

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In full: Job losses at Watt Brothers' stores by location

Watt Brothers, which traces its roots back to the late 1800s, suffered from an increased strain on costs margins and rising competition from online and discount retailers, which resulted in the group generating a loss in 2018.

Blair Nimmo, joint administrator and UK head of restructuring at KPMG, said: "We’re continuing to explore a number of options and talk to interested parties in the hope that we can achieve the best possible outcome for Watt Brothers.

"Throughout the administration process, remaining staff members have worked tirelessly to ensure that as much stock as possible can be sold.

“We’re now entering the final stages of clearance with a full closing down sale, resulting in reductions of up to 30 per cent on all remaining items, and we can confirm the Sauchiehall Street store is expected to close around mid-December.

“In addition to our efforts to speak to interested potential buyers, we’re also working closely with Skills Development Scotland, via their PACE team, and JobCentre Plus to support the staff who have been made redundant.”