STAFF at a popular ‘affordable’ women’s clothing shop face a Christmas of concern as their employer’s business seeks a buyer.

M&Co, which has stores across the South West, including Tavistock, Launceston and Liskeard, has appointed administrators, the company announced on Friday (December 9).

The Tavistock branch employs five women, none of whom were available for comment today.

However, their futures remain uncertain, despite enjoying a brisk trade on Tuesday (December 13) as large banners in the windows drew the crowds advertising a closing down sale saying ‘store closing. Everything must go. 20% off everything’.

No M&Co spokesman was available for comment as the Times went to press on Tuesday. It is also unknown at this point how long the shop will remain open.

The potential closure comes at a critical time for Tavistock high street as a few units remain empty, including a former upmarket fashion shop, two closed banks and an ex-gift shop. However, the town remains a destination for shoppers attracted by its thriving independent sector.

A spokesman for Tavistock’s Business Improvement District said: ‘We are extremely concerned about the future of M&Co in Tavistock. The high street chain is popular in the town and the store serves a large proportion of our community.

‘With the closure of New Look, it would undoubtedly be another big loss for the town should the company not be successful in the search for a buyer.

‘Although our high street remains relatively buoyant at the current time, with relatively few empty units, the loss of a high street chain like this one would be a blow for the town. We will support the staff during this uncertain time.’

Shoppers enjoying the unexpected sale at M&Co said they were sad at the shop’s loss.

Ann Wenborn, from Plymouth said: ‘We aways pop into M&Co when we come to Tavistock, it’s reliable for affordable quality’ women’s clothing and has a good choice. I always find something new I want to buy. So, it’ll be a big shame if it goes.’

Linda Ritz, of Tavistock, said: ‘I always come into M&Co. There are other big chains but they don’t appeal to me and aren’t as affordable. They sell more day-to-day clothes. There’s nothing else like it in the town centre.’

A Tavistock Town Council spokesman said the potential loss of a longstanding store, and the uncertainty that brings for staff and customers — especially at this time of year, gives cause for concern.’