‘Retail outlets suffering’ as plans for cafe discussed
M&Co announced last December that it was going into administration, plunging the future of both its Haddington and Musselburgh stores into doubt.
Administrators from financial advisory firm Teneo have been appointed with the aim of pursuing a sale.
Members of Haddington and District Community Council were discussing plans for the former Number 7 restaurant on Market Street when attention turned to M&Co on nearby Court Street.
Morgwn Davies, community council planning liaison officer, said: “We don’t know what is going to happen with M&Co, whether that is going to be another retail outlet. All retail outlets are suffering.”
No date has been confirmed for the closure of either county store. However, major clearance sales are under way and it is understood the Haddington branch has enough stock to last until Easter.
Therese Laing, the community council’s chairwoman, offered her sympathies to the staff when the announcement was first made.
She described the potential closure as “a huge miss in Haddington” and noted that it was “a huge pull for the town centre”.
She added: “I just want to thank staff at M&Co. They always greet you with smiley faces.”
The discussions came after community councillors opted not to comment on the proposals for Number 7 – formerly the town’s Conservative Club – despite giving them a warm welcome.
The three-storey property is currently home to a restaurant with function room and billiards room.
Ten offices are located on the first and second floors.
Drawings included with the application from Ms V McMillan show a cafe on the ground floor, with a two-bedroom property to the rear.
Above would be a further three flats.
Mr Davies added: “We could say it is a shame we are losing retail/commercial space but on the other hand we are talking about another four flats in the centre of Haddington for people to live in.
“It is more life in the centre of Haddington, which a lot of places struggle with.”
Fellow community councillor Karen Garrott was among those offering support to the proposals, which have been lodged with East Lothian Council.
She said: “When I look round Haddington, we have got so many amazing things, amazing shops.
“At night time, one thing we are missing is where you can go for a cup of coffee.
“At night time, if you don’t want to go to the pub, most shops close at 5pm.
“It would be lovely to see something open a wee bit longer.”
East Lothian Courier