High street fashion brand reveals major update after shutting 170 shops


High street fashion brand reveals major update after going into administration and shutting 170 shops

  • M&Co is set to reinvent itself as an online retailer after collapsing last year
  • The 189-year-old clothes seller is set to launch a website next month 

A mainstay high street fashion brand is set to reinvent itself as an online retailer after closing all 170 of its shops and collapsing into administration in December last year. 

Scottish clothes seller M&Co, formerly known as Mackays, is set to launch a new website this June after shuttering the last of its high street stores in April. 

The 189-year-old business, that was first started as a pawnbrokers in Paisley, filed for bankruptcy due to rising prices and falling demand for its clothes. 

Now, the retailer is planning to pivot to the web, after being pulled out of administration by its new owner, AK Retail Holdings, which bought the brand in February. 

The clothes seller’s digital reinvention will see it begin selling a range of womenswear collections and create its own app, following the launch of its website next month. 

M&Co is set to become an online retailer following the launch of its website in June

M&Co is set to become an online retailer following the launch of its website in June

The 189-year-old company collapsed in December due to rising prices and falling demand

The 189-year-old company collapsed in December due to rising prices and falling demand

The plans come after M&Co, which has its head office in the small village of Inchinnan, Renfrewshire, was saved after being bought by Peterborough firm AK Retail Holdings for an undisclosed sum in February.

Under the terms of the deal, AK Retail bought the M&Co brand, but not the firm’s network of 170 high street shops, meaning the stores were forced to close.   

Aside from M&Co, AK Retail Holdings also owns an array of online clothes shops including large men’s brand BadRhino and petite womenswear outlet PixieGirl. 

The holdings company also owns Long Tall Sally, which sells clothes to women who are 5’8″ or taller, and Yours Clothing which is aimed at plus sized women.  

AK Retail’s CEO Andrew Killingsworth, said the firm has ‘big plans’ for M&Co, while also remaining committed to ‘maintaining’ the company’s ‘values’ and ‘legacy’.

‘M&Co has long held a strong reputation as a local family brand that customers trust to find high quality clothing at an affordable price,’ Mr Killingsworth told Drapers

‘We have big plans for the brand, with an immediate focus on M&Co’s digital presence, with our brand-new site set to launch at the end of June 2023, and an app coming soon.’ 

The Scottish firm was pulled out of insolvency after being bought by AK Retail in February

The Scottish firm was pulled out of insolvency after being bought by AK Retail in February

The company's 170 UK stores will remain closed as M&Co pivots to the internet

The company’s 170 UK stores will remain closed as M&Co pivots to the internet

‘M&Co has enormous potential, and we are excited to bring our expertise and experience to the table,’ the CEO continued. 

‘We want to ensure that M&Co continues to be a beloved and trusted brand for generations to come.’

Prior to its bankruptcy, M&Co employed more than 1,900 staff in its 170 high street shops across the UK. 

The business previously collapsed in 2020, leading to the loss of 380 jobs and the shuttering of 47 of its stores. 

Its collapse followed the closure of major high street retailers including Joules, Topshop, and Debenhams in recent years. 

M&Co’s administrators were contacted for comment.  



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