Nicola Sturgeon: John Lewis shutdown is ‘actual blow’ for Aberdeen
The Scottish authorities will interact with John Lewis on plans to shut its Aberdeen retailer, the Prime Minister has confirmed.
The retail big on Wednesday introduced plans to close down its Aberdeen retailer for good, one other blow to the town middle, after a sequence of retailer closings this yr.
Northeastern MSP Liam Kerr instructed Nicola Sturgeon that the town had been “shaken” by information of the shop’s closure after greater than 30 years within the metropolis, with a complete of 265 workers affected within the northeast.
Nevertheless, the Prime Minister denied Mr Kerr’s declare that the Scottish authorities’s determination to postpone the reassessment of business tariffs was an element within the determination to shut the shop.
From the Editor: It is time to make your voice heard and save John Lewis – and our downtown too
Talking through the Prime Minister’s Questions, Ms Sturgeon mentioned: “The information from John Lewis this morning is an actual blow to Aberdeen and my hearts exit to all workers who will probably be affected.
‘Because the member is aware of, the Aberdeen retailer is the one one in Scotland, however one in all many shops within the UK that John Lewis has determined to not reopen after the lockdown.
“So I feel the rationale he places ahead for that simply would not bear any scrutiny, however he raises an necessary query and he’s proper to boost it.”
‘Horrible information for Aberdeen’: consumers react to information John Lewis will not reopen
Oil costs and costs
Many firms within the northeast say they’re paying ‘eye-catching’ business tariffs as a result of the newest revaluation, which was launched in 2017 and based mostly on a 2015 valuation, didn’t bear in mind the drop within the value of oil. about companies in Aberdeen and the encompassing space.
Ms Sturgeon confirmed that the Scottish Authorities will interact straight with John Lewis and Aberdeen Metropolis Council, including the PACE Initiative could be obtainable to affected workers.
This system gives free and neutral recommendation to everybody affected by a dismissal, whatever the measurement of the corporate or the variety of workers concerned.
The Prime Minister added: “The revitalization of our buying streets goes to be one of many actual priorities as we come out of the lockout and this pandemic and there’s work that we are going to do with native authorities, with the Scottish Retail Consortium to verify we’re taking the precise steps on this regard.
“However within the brief time period, we’ll do all we are able to to help the affected workers.”
John Lewis in session with staff
The Aberdeen retailer is one in all eight John Lewis shops proposed to shut, with the retail big rebalancing its subject as customers’ shopping for habits change.
The John Lewis partnership begins session with affected staff, with roughly 250 affected workers within the city of Granite.
The division retailer believes that the efficiency of those shops can’t be “considerably improved” as they count on 60-70% of gross sales to be made on-line sooner or later.
Already this yr, the town middle has misplaced Debenhams, Dorothy Perkins, Burtons, Wallis and Topshop / Topman.
Mr Kerr mentioned the announcement was “completely catastrophic” for the town, simply weeks after retailer Debenhams additionally closed.
He added, “John Lewis is among the metropolis’s largest retail employers and now tons of of hardworking workers are vulnerable to shedding their jobs – it is devastating.
“My ideas are with the entire John Lewis employees who maintain this place via no fault of their very own.
“Town’s retail sector is being utterly decimated by these large-scale closures and an emergency help bundle is to be supplied by the Scottish Authorities to help Aberdeen and affected employees.