A SCOTTISH fashion retailer with branches across Ayrshire has entered administration, just two weeks before Christmas.

M&Co, who have branches in Ayr, Irvine, Saltcoats and Troon, had to call in administrators on Friday, December 9.

M&Co was founded in Paisley in 1961 and the firm employs more than 1900 staff across the UK.

Statements confirming the news were published to the Facebook pages of a number of the retailer's branches.

One of those branches, M&Co in Saltcoats, stated: "We are hoping for a positive outcome and that our lovely shops will be saved but in the mean time there are a few things we would like our customers to be aware of…

"Currently we are unable to process refunds back to original payment, we can exchange only any goods for the same value or above, this also includes items purchased through the website.

"We are currently not scanning loyalty cards to add points and we cannot accept reward vouchers.

"We will be doing our best to keep a positive shopping environment for all our customers and despite the circumstances we remain positive!

"We hope to see many shoppers about over the Christmas period and will do our best to help in all ways possible.

"But most of all I want to thank the fabulous team I have in Saltcoats store who always go above and beyond to help."

At the moment no immediate redundancies have been made and administrators are exploring a potential sale of the business.

Teneo Financial Advisory has been appointed joint administrators.

Gavin Park, Joint Administrator said: “Like many retailers, the company has experienced a sharp rise in its input costs, which has coincided with a decline in consumer confidence leading to trading challenges.

"Despite a very loyal customer base, particularly in local markets, and a well-recognised brand, the current economic outlook has placed increasing pressure on the company’s cash position.”

This is not the first time M&Co has entered administration - with the comapny found in a similar position back in August of 2020.

However, on that occasion, jobs were saved following a financial restructuring exercise.

M&Co's local branches are on Church Street in Troon, Alloway Street in Ayr, Bridgegate in Irvine and Dockhead Street in Saltcoats.