On the devastating news that M&Co has not found a buyer and is set to close all stores by Easter, West Scotland Labour MSP Neil Bibby said:

“M&Co was founded in Paisley and is headquartered in Inchinnan, so this closure is a particularly sad day locally. Until relatively recently this was a highly successful, thriving business with stores all over the world. But these are incredibly tough times for high street retailers. We should be finding ways to level the playing field with the online giants and help good businesses where possible with challenges like energy costs and business rates.

With the closure of M&Co, many jobs in this area, and hundreds across Scotland, are clearly in jeopardy. I know from my own experience that these workers have provided a friendly and helpful service to their customers over many years. Even at this stage, the Scottish Government should be pulling out all the stops to protect and support those workers in the difficult months ahead.”

Further to this, Mr Bibby questioned Minister for Public Finance, Planning and Community Tom Arthur MSP in the Scottish Parliament. Speaking in the Scottish Parliament, Neil Bibby MSP said:

“M&Co has been an iconic Scottish brand and a welcome presence on our high streets for decades… This is a devastating blow for nearly 2000 employees of M&Co throughout the UK, including around, I understand, 600 in Scotland and those at the HQ in Renfrewshire which is also set to close. I know from my own experience, and the Minister will as well, these workers have provided a friendly and helpful service to their customers over many years. If any of industry was to lose this many jobs, the Scottish Government would, rightly, be all over it. Retail should not be any different. As my Labour colleague, Katy Clark, has suggested, are the government considering setting up a ministerial taskforce to support these workers and lessen the blow of this devastating news?”

Minister Tom Arthur replied:

“Can I thank Mr Bibby for these supplementary and echo his sentiments in recognising the tremendous workforce at M&Co. I have given an undertaking—I am happy to consider any proposals for further action that the Scottish Government can take. Wiith regards to a taskforce specifically, given that taskforce often respond on a place-based manner, given the disparate nature of the work force across multiple sites, a taskforce in itself might not be the best means in which to respond. However, I do not want to preclude any options at this stage, and I am more than happy to meet with the Member and Ms Clark as well to discuss in further detail what action could be taken.”

On the Minister’s point about a taskforce, Neil Bibby MSP rose again to disagree:

“I thank the Minister for that answer. I have to disagree. I think because of the disparate nature of the workforce right across many communities in Scotland, I think that reinforces the need for such a taskforce. The workers at M&Co have demonstrated excellent customer care skills and need our support to find other employment. Stores like M&Co have been the lifeblood of our town centres for decades. But high street retailers are struggling to survive against unfair competition with the online giants, rising energy costs and customers struggling in a cost of living crisis. There are nine M&Co stores alone in the West of Scotland and the Minister will be well aware of the stores in Johnstone and Paisley. In addition to helping the workers affected, what new action will the Scottish Government take to reverse the economic decline of our town centres?”

The Minister offered to meet with Mr Bibby and West Scotland Labour colleague Katy Clark MSP to discuss a taskforce and other ideas.


Founder of Paisley.org.uk in 1998 and constantly strives to change peoples attitudes to the town, Brian is a self described Paisley Digital Champion who promotes Paisley via any means necessary. You can also follow me on X