It has been confirmed that DE Shoes will close its doors with the loss of shops in Stranraer, Newton Stewart and Castle Douglas.
A consultation period drew to a close last Friday and despite all efforts, no viable alternatives to the closure of the business were identified and attempts to sell the business as a going concern have been unsuccessful.
The company saw the sale of five stores in March, saving almost a quarter of retail jobs and there continues to be some interest in a small number of the remaining stores as going concerns.
But notice has now been given to the company’s 162 staff.
A Closing Down Sale at the 25 branches of DE Shoes and Foot Factory still in the company’s ownership was to begin on Wednesday . Managing Director, Robert Sinclair summed up his feelings: “The salecould be seen as a final thank you to all our local communities for their custom and support over the generations.
“I am immensely sad that in the Company’s 146th year it has proved necessary to decide to wind it up.
“The last months have been incredibly difficult for everyone but I have been grateful for the ongoing support from members of the public who do not want to see their local shoe shop close. Unfortunately shopping habits have shown a move away from local High Streets and in these difficult economic times even loyal customers have had to cut back on their footwear purchases.”
“I have also been enormously proud of the professionalism shown by our staff throughout the last few weeks.”
The company continue to consult with interested parties looking to take on any remaining stores as going concerns.