In connection with rumours concerning redundancies at the Nairn Branch, Robert Sinclair, the Managing Director of the company and 5th generation family member to work in the firm, told the Gurn that they had entered into the compulsory 90 day consultation period with their staff (a 90 day period is necessary if the future of more than 100 jobs is affected by potential redundancy – more on the UK government website here). He said that trading conditions had been incredibly difficult recently and the company was looking at ways of making the business model more profitable. He stressed the company would continue trading and paying suppliers during this period.
He said that he was “devastated” by the situation. A major part of the problem according to Robert is the switch of consumers to online purchases and he said there is “no future without a website.” It is hard not to have sympathy with Robert Sinclair and his company in these troubled, changing times for the retail trade.
Nairn's one and only shoe shop now under threat.
Robert was quite frank in his conversation with the Gurn about the seriousness of the situation facing DE Shoes, his company is obviously trying very hard to ensure a future for as many of their stores and staff as possible. He said he was fairly optimistic that some offers to buy individual shops may come forward. Here at the Gurn we wish him well in his daunting task. The bleak New Year news that has been predicted for retail now seems to have come a lot closer to Nairn High Street. We mentioned in our conversation with Robert how Nairn’s only shoe shop was a key store on our High Street and to lose it would be a great loss. Robert made no promises at all but when asked he said that he would also be open to representations from the like of the business association and local elected representatives should they have anything to say.
The news is testament to changing times. Let’s hope however that DE Shoes can somehow maintain a presence on our High Street or that another company might be interested in continuing with the store. Whatever the fate of the DE store – challenging times lie ahead for retail outlets here in Nairn and all over the country.