A 42-year chapter of Aberdeen shopping history ended yesterday when the BHS shop on Union Street closed its doors for the final time.
Just over three months after the department store chain collapsed into administration, it had been one of the last of its 164 stores still trading.
Staff shut up shop well before the usual 5:30pm closing time and began clearing the few items of remaining stock from the rails.
A handful of eleventh-hour bargain hunters were left frustrated as they arrived to find the doors already locked.
Notices posted in the windows told customers: “This store is now closed. The management and staff thank you for your custom”.
Around half of the 33 staff who steered the shop to its final day are thought to have found other jobs.
Others, including one with more than two decades’ service, face a more uncertain future as they contemplate what to do next.
An online petition set up by a former worker at the Union Street store seeking justice for staff and pensioners has attracted more than 480 supporters.
Lin Macmillan, who worked there for eight years in the 1980s, wants former BHS owner Philip Green and his family to bail out the pension fund which currently has a deficit of £571m.
The hunt is now on to find a new occupant for the prime space – which joins the ranks of empty premises on the once-thriving Granite Mile.
Property fund manager Rockspring, which owns the building and a significant chunk of neighbouring commercial property, says it is in negotiations with “a number of national and international retailers”.
They were all “known to UK shoppers”, a spokeswoman said.
It remains unclear how long the space may remain vacant as the firm works with Aberdeen City Council to find a solution that fits with the authority’s multi-million pound city centre “masterplan”.
BHS took a 99-year lease on the site when it first moved to the Granite City in 1974.
Administrators Duff and Phelps say the remaining BHS stores will cease trading by August 20.