A RETAIL hammer blow has been delivered to a Borders town centre after a major outlet announced closure plans – following on from the recent exit of two neighbouring traders.

It has been confirmed that Savers health and beauty discount store at 63A High Street in Hawick will be closing its doors early next year.

Savers bosses said they hoped to redeploy the staff at neighbouring stores, which include an outlet in Galashiels.

But news of the imminent closure is particularly concerning given that two other prominent outlets beside Savers have also departed town, with Burtons and Dorothy Perkins stores having closed earlier this year.

The fear is that the latest shutdown will create a retail void at the heart of the town centre.

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Hawick & Hermitage councillor Watson McAteer shares those concerns, while also hoping that a town trial scheme which allows a mix of commercial and residential uses in the town centre can be utilised to address the issue.

He said: “It is worrying that this wee section of the town is becoming vacant on the same side of the street, and the quicker we can get them re let the better.

“At the council we have to look very closely at the plan for Hawick and see how we are able to try and encourage new development. To be fair there are some new premises that opened recently.

“Hawick was a test area for planning which allows other uses in the high street, so we are open to any application that can make the high street vibrant and bring it back to life. That can cover a range of commercial and housing uses, so the high street is wide open for a range of applications.

“It would be great if it was all retail, that is a primary focus, but we shouldn’t oppose the rise of other opportunities, such as a mixture of banks and building societies, offices and shops. That has to be the mix for the future.”