Thousands of members of the public have voiced their support for a campaign to keep the north’s last department store in Aberdeen.
Last week John Lewis announced it plans to close its store on George Street – the UK’s most northern outlet and the only one in Scotland outside the central belt.
It follows the closure of Debenhams, which has closed its stores in both Aberdeen and Inverness.
The announcement sparked outrage from shoppers and members of the public in the north-east, with thousands of people aiming to convince the retail giant to reconsider.
Many also added comments sharing why they want the partnership to stay in the Granite City.
Chris Cusack described the store as “an important fixture in the city centre, and an essential part of its retail economy”, while Alison Murray claimed the region would be “bereft” if the closure goes ahead.
Dawn Allen said: “We desperately need to preserve the jobs and it is a three-hour drive to the next nearest store. Aberdeenshire needs John Lewis, not just the city itself.”
And Karen Young added: “I worked in John Lewis for years and it was the best store in town. I think this will be a terrible loss to Aberdeen and it breaks my heart that those amazing staff will no longer do the jobs they live and are committed to.”
The campaign to save the store has also been backed by candidates standing in Aberdeen Central in the upcoming Scottish Parliament election.
Scottish Labour candidate Barry Black, who set up one of the petitions calling for the closure decision to be reversed, said: “There is a mixture of anger and huge disappointment at the decision. This is the last department store in Aberdeen.
“People do have confidence in the future of Aberdeen city centre but they see John Lewis as a huge part of that future. It’s the anchor of that side of the city centre, and there are a lot of retailers in George Street who have grave concerns because of the people it draws to that part of town.
“This is much bigger than Aberdeen city. To the public in Aberdeenshire, Moray, the Highlands and even Orkney and Shetland, it’s their local department store.”
Douglas Lumsden, the Scottish Conservative candidate, said: “I haven’t seen a public response like this for a long time. It just shows what this means to so many people, and it’s so important to the whole region.
“If it does go it will be a devastating loss to the whole city.”
Kevin Stewart of the SNP and: “I know from my mailbag and inbox that Aberdonians want John Lewis to stay in our city and I do hope that the John Lewis board will recognise this strength of feeling and agree to maintain a presence in our city.”