Stornoway, Scotland shop Wee W announces imminent closure

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Wee W store, located in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, yesterday announced its intention to cease operating "in the next few weeks", subject to any potential acquisition of the company. The store, which is one of the largest retail buildings in Stornoway, is located in a central part of the town. In a statement, the company cited the death of store co-founder Ann MacCallum as primary reason for the decision.

Ann MacCallum was found dead at age 51 on a Lewis shingle beach in May. A statement from Wee W described MacCallum as "a constant inspiration with new ideas and displays, [...] always ...exploring ways of bringing new products to Stornoway". Shortly prior to her death, MacCallum had established a 'Wee Fudge Shop' inside Wee W, which the company deemed successful. The statement explained how her death had "left an unfillable void" in the company, saying that "the family and existing shareholders do not have the heart or desire to try and fill Ann’s shoes."

Wee W, whose building is currently leased from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, was opened on Cromwell Street in Stornoway during 2009. The store reportedly acted as a replacement for the Woolworths building which closed there when the group entered administration in 2009. Numerous former employees of the store were employed by Wee W, whose title is a play on words of the large-size 'Big W' stores Woolworths Group had. Ann MacCallum was herself once manager of the former Woolworths building in Stornoway.

The statement did not comment on the fate of its employees or give details of how many redundancies the closure of the store would leave, although the group did say, "We would like to offer our heartfelt thanks to everyone who supported Wee W and who will be impacted by this announcement."