This is the latest in our profiles of fantastic independent businesses in Kirkcaldy’s town centre: Morton Running Company. Our Blog looks back at how recreational running has come on in leaps and bounds over the decades – and discovers just what makes Dave Morton tick?? …
From Kirkcaldy4All’s BID manager, Bill Harvey …
“It is just three years after M&S opened its out of town store in Kirkcaldy. The shift to out of town trading was predicted by many to cause serious damage to town and city centres across the country. But it is not only the out of town stores that are changing our towns. Every national retailer is undergoing seismic changes to their trading – with an ever-increasing shift to online.
Earlier this year, M&S announced they would start a massive programme of store closures – one in three of its core clothing and home branches. Even at today’s figures, high street stores only account for 28% of the company’s bricks and mortar outlets. They no longer see the value in being in our towns and cities. In recent months they’ve closed stores in London, Manchester, Leeds, York, Aberdeen, Brighton, Milton Keynes ?Ķ and numerous others …
We???re saddened by the news that M&S has decided to close their Kirkcaldy store in 2019. They’ve been an anchor in the town since they opened in the summer of 1938. Many Kirkcaldy folk have been employed by the company over the last 80 years and we feel very sorry for those employees affected by this announcement.
As with every high street and town centre across the country, we’re facing challenging times: many national retailed are completely altering the way they trade – shifting more online than ever before as customer habits and demands change.
As Scotland???s longest high street, we feel those shockwaves more than most. We can either ???do nothing??? which isn???t an option – or we can work hard to change the way our town trades. We are investing time and resource to review Kirkcaldy???s offering and plan for tomorrow. We can???t force national retailers to stay, but we can encourage new businesses. That’s our focus. We are working on plans for the BID???s 2020-2025 term – and our emphasis is on our great and growing independent offering.
We have a higher percentage of independents than the rest of the UK – many of whom are award-winning businesses, investing in Kirkcaldy and employing and training their workforce from in and around the town.
We will be sorry to see M&S go. But we will do all we can to showcase Kirkcaldy as a destination for people to live, work and enjoy. And where we can help new businesses to start and thrive, we will work hard with our community partners and stakeholders to make that happen.”
The UK???s only Highland Games to be held on a beach took place in Kirkcaldy on Saturday (15th September 2018). The dry weather brought thousands of spectators down to the Waterfront to enjoy a unique combination of culture, sport and social entertainment from Heavy athletics to Highland dancing.
Everyone knows your wedding day is about making vows, but one of Kirkcaldy’s best independent businesses makes sure your wedding day WOWS!
Finishing Touches by Adele is a specialist. Owner, Adele Scott, opened a very small shop in Kirk Wynd in 2001. Weddings has always been her passion – and she’d always wanted to help plan and deliver ‘the big day’. Seventeen years down the line, the business has grown, won a hard-earned reputation and now trades on our High Street.
Adele is passionate about her customers’ wedding plans. She works hard to make sure your day is as perfect as it should be. Her company is very well known for for their flare and style in creating ‘the look’ of a wedding – from themed chair covers, stunning centrepieces, personalised stationery and all manner of balloon displays.
This month sees the company’s next step …
On Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th September, Finishing Touches by Adele launch a brand new offering: from this weekend, brides will be able to plan every aspect of their day – including Wedding & Bridesmaids Dresses, Veils, Tiaras and Hair Accessories.
Adele says: “It???s such an exciting time for us. We hope everyone will all be able to join us on our launch. Come along to our high street store and enjoy a glass of bubbly and browse or beautiful products. We will also have some gorgeous new stationery to see – and some FAB offers throughout the weekend!”
We asked Adele what sets her apart from the competition: She says: “We really listen to our customers – to discover what they’re looking for.” And she’s quick to praise her team as part of the company’s success saying: “I have a team of eight staff and each one of them brings something different. It works very well.”
She sees having her own business as her greatest achievement and is thrilled to watch it grow. She’s super passionate about Kirkcaldy and shopping locally adding some advice for those heading to the town: “Try and look in every shop – try and shop local – you never know what you will find!”
Adele’s business is testament to what a great independent store can achieve. Years of hard work, building a reputation – providing what customers want, employing local folk who are customers in the town … expanding and delivering a great service. But don’t just take our word for it: check out the reviews online – glowing plaudits that echo the ‘WOW!’
And when folk are asked “do you shop in Kirkcaldy” we hope we can help to make a difference … we hope we can help folk to say “I do!”
You will find Finishing Touches by Adele at 229 High Street. Pop in and say hello.
You can call them on??01592 642644 – and follow their next steps via their Facebook page.??
Across the country, around a third of all town centre businesses are independent. In Kirkcaldy, we’ve closer to 50% – and that share is growing. Some might see that as a challenge. We see it as a plus – making Kirkcaldy’s offering unique. One independent business to open their doors this summer is The Bakers Field Cafe on Tollbooth Street. We took time out to discover this new destination for vegetarians and vegans – to profile one of the town’s independent trailblazers …
If you’re looking to open a business in Kirkcaldy – or need room to expand in town – there are premises on the market that will make the ideal base …
Huge congratulations to businesses in Kirkcaldy involved in two separate award ceremonies this week …
First up, the Scottish Independent Retail Awards 2018 where over 300 guests gathered at Glasgow???s Crowne Plaza Hotel in a celebration of Scotland’s retail industry. This year’s event was the seventh annual Scottish Independent Retail Awards ceremony.
ACA Sports were nominated for Independent Sports Retailer of the Year. Robertson’s Coffee Shop was nominated for Coffee Shop of The Year (Central) and Koku Shi as Eatery of the Year (Central). The Pet Shop was also nominated as Pet Supplies Store of The Year.
As they say on their website: “Winners are a true reflection of quality and customer service as they are chosen by members of the general public.” They add: “The awards aim to highlight the value of independent retailers to the communities they operate within; recognising and rewarding the entrepreneurial spirit and business acumen which lies behind the thriving industry and employing over hundreds of thousands of people.”
The night’s winner for Kirkcaldy was 4EyeDimensions – nominated as Bespoke Retailer of The Year. Established in 2013, 4eyedimensions is a bespoke furniture design and upholstery business creating “cost effective, bespoke furniture” to fit their clients??? needs. John Paul, owner of 4eyedimensions, says: “I have extensive experience in the construction and engineeringindustry. The ke y skills and additional qualifications gained over my ten years service has enabled me to offer customers a professional, high-end service.” A large part of their appeal is a commitment to be as eco-friendly as possible – aiming to re-use or recycle in the creation of products.For anyone wanting to visit this award-winning business, you’ll find them in Kirkcaldy’s Olympic Arcade.
Bill Harvey, manager at Kirkcaldy4All BID, congratulated all the businesses saying: “Kirkcaldy has a growing reputation for innovative, hard working independent businesses and we’re delighted to shine a spotlight on those featured in this Blog. Both sets of awards are long established – made all the more credible as the winners are chosen by members of the public.”
Please follow any of the links in the Blog to find more on each business.
The Blog’s feature image shows John Paul with members of Raith Rovers Ladies. John Paul watched the team’s first pre-season match and was impressed enough by the commitment of the team and coaches that he agreed to fund the strips as sponsor – investing in local women’s football and putting something back into the Kirkcaldy community.
Thanks for reading!