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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5W-14611: Annie Wells (Glasgow)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 12 February 2018

To ask the Scottish Government what measures it is taking in light of reports that jobs could be lost at two major stores in Glasgow, and what discussions it has had or will have with Debenhams and Dunnes regarding the potential impact of job losses to the Glasgow economy.

Answered by: Paul Wheelhouse 6 March 2018

We are disappointed at the news from Debenhams and Dunnes.

Our Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) team are working to support any affected employees. The PACE team worked closely with the staff affected by the planned Dunnes Stores closures, providing skills development and employability support to help them find alternative employment.

At this stage it is not clear how any changes at Debenhams may impact Glasgow staff. However, our PACE team have been in touch with Debenhams to offer support in the event that employees may face redundancy.

The Scottish Government recognises that the retail sector in Scotland is transforming in response to, among other things, significant changes to shopping habits and through new technology. There is no doubt that e-commerce is now having a significant impact. However Scotland’s Town Centre First Principle, agreed with COSLA, together with the range of measures in the Town Centre Action Plan, set the conditions and underpin activity designed to tackle key issues such as empty shops, diversify the town centre offer and thereby attract a range of businesses and services to locate there to build footfall for retail and other business areas. In Glasgow, as you will be well aware, the city centre continues to provide residents and visitors with an exciting mix of shopping, culture, leisure and entertainment experiences and Glasgow’s economy remains diverse and resilient.

However, I want to reassure you that we will continue to use all levers at our disposal to ensure that Scotland remains an attractive place for retailers to do business.