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Business / Bayes set to close at Christmas

Meanwhile jobs are at risk at clothing retailer M&Co after going into administration

The late Alister Smith (right) with Neil Anderson two years ago when they were celebrating 40 years of business. Photo: Living Lerwick

ONE OF Lerwick’s longest established shops, R.W. Bayes on Commercial Street, is closing its doors for the very last time on Christmas Eve.

This follows the death of shop owner Alister Smith in May this year.

Located where Commercial Street is only a few metres wide, R.W. Bayes has been offering photography and framing services for many decades.

Back in 1979 the late Alister Smith started working at R.W. Bayes and two years later he bought the shop and took on Neil Anderson as his apprentice.

The two have been a constant and familiar sight behind the shop counter for four decades.

Now, almost 42 years later, Anderson, now aged 66, is set to start drawing his state pension once he has locked to door for the last time on 24 December.

He said he had stop taking orders to make sure he manages to work his way through all the framing orders in time for Christmas.

Emma Miller of Living Lerwick said it was a sad moment to see the shop close and added that Alister’s family who had inherited the shop after his death felt they were unable to run it themselves.

“It’s a real shame the shop will close, and it’ll be a huge miss – not only for the service but the yarns and stories that’ve been swapped in there over the years,” she said.

Meanwhile, Scottish clothes retailer M&Co has appointed financial advisory firm Teneo as administrators.

M&Co, previously known as Mackays, employs 1,910 staff in 170 shops including at Lerwick’s Commercial Street.

The administrators said the company would continue trading while Teneo explores a potential sale of the business.

The Lerwick branch said on its Facebook that it wished to thank the community for its support at this time.

It said staff’s “fingers will remain crossed” about the store’s future.

M&Co loyalty cards will not be accepted during the period of administration. Gift cards will be accepted, provided that their value is no more than half the total price of items purchased.

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