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Two branches of the Edinburgh Woollen Mill (EWM) in Oban will reopen from Monday April 26 – bringing to an end a worrying few months for 10 staff.
The flagship Chalmers store at 42-46 George Street and its sister branch at McCaig’s Warehouse, Heritage Wharf, welcome back customers again.
It follows a rollercoaster few months which saw the loss of a neighbouring EWM outlet on George Street as part of a string of store closures, a top level company buy-out and then Scotland’s second lockdown shutting the doors for four months, effective from Boxing Day.
Helen Hetherington, manager at Chalmers, said after what proved to be a short-lived six-week reopening in the run-up to Christmas, they were ‘ecstatic’ to return.
With the UK high street still facing challenges, staff are as certain as they can be right now that they are back for good.
Helen, who has worked there for 12 years, popped in between Christmas and New Year to take down the Christmas decorations with the future then far from clear.
She said she and her work colleagues, including fellow manager in Oban, Shona Wood, have been preparing for reopening which will initially be on a 9am-5pm basis Monday to Saturday, and then 11am-4pm on Sundays.
Helen said: ‘We are ecstatic and chuffed to bits and we are looking forward to welcoming back customers, and hopefully tourists as well at some point.’
Helen conceded the lockdown had been like ‘Groundhog Day’ but there was a genuine sense of relief to be returning to work and seeing colleagues and customers again.