THERE WAS DISMAY around the north east and Highlands last night following an announcement by Scottish Hydro Electric that they were to close their remaining retail outlets.
In what is being seen as yet another major blow for High Streets the 37 stores will close their doors for the last time on May 15.
That will include 28 stores throughout the region with one in Moray, at Buckie, affected by the closures, which will see 119 jobs being put at risk.
Owners SSE, however, say that they will protect their staff and aim to redeploy them all to other jobs within the company. As well as the network of shops, SSE say they will also close down their online shop.
Director of domestic retail for SSE, Stephen Forbes, blamed shopping habits as the reason for the closures, adding that these had changed considerably since the shops were first opened. He said: “We know some of these shops have been on local high streets for a long time so we did not take this decision lightly.
“Footfall have reduced and there is, unfortunately, no realistic prospect of that trend reversing. Our priority is to ensure our colleagues are fully supported during this time and we will work to redeploy staff within the SSE group where possible.”
The Forres branch of the Scottish Hydro Electric network was closed in November 2014 after trading in the town for 30 years.