Helensburgh’s business community has reacted to the news of M&Co’s planned closure, describing the loss as a “devastating blow”.

After appointing administrators in December, it was announced over the weekend that the company will close all of its 170 UK stores in the run up to Easter – including its Sinclair Street shop.

The brand has been bought over by AK Retail Holdings, which owns Yours Truly and Long Tall Sally, but the sale excludes the store facilities.

Stores shared the news with customers in social media posts. The Sinclair Street branch also thanked customers in its post, and pleaded with shoppers to show understanding to staff.

The post read: "We are all struggling daily to come to terms with the loss of our jobs.

“I would like to take this opportunity to say a massive thank you to the people of Helensburgh who have supported us over the decades and continue to do so until we close our doors. You have been wonderful."

READ MORE: M&Co announces plans to close all UK stores | Helensburgh Advertiser

Vivien Dance of Helensburgh and Lomond Chamber of Commerce said the town’s business owners had been hoping for a favourable outcome after news broke of M&Co entering administration two several weeks ago.

She added: “The reality of yesterday’s confirmation that the final deal has not delivered this outcome is a devastating blow for the local staff and a store that for many years has played a major part in the vibrancy of the town centre.

“I note that in their response the staff have thanked all their customers for their loyalty and support and fellow business owners wish to reciprocate and say how much we have appreciated the contribution of all the staff to the local economy, the presence of M&Co in a central position on our high street has been a tremendous asset to Helensburgh and we are desperately sad to lose the contribution you have made over the years."

Ms Dance also recalled memories of the store’s fashion shows, which raised funds for a number of local charities.

She added: “I, like many residents of the town, have enjoyed many evenings at your fashion shows which have raised thousands of pounds for local groups and we were always grateful for the support staff gave to the community in lots of ways.

“Words seem totally inadequate as people face losing their employment and all that means for their families, all we can say is a huge thank you and we wish you all the best in the future and sincerely hope that other local businesses will be able to offer opportunities and we will continue to see you in the midst of our business community.”

Helensburgh's M&Co store will continue to accept gift cards until Sunday, February 12.