An uncertain future facing famous store

Leckie's opened in Melville Street in 1964
Leckie's opened in Melville Street in 1964

The future of Falkirk’s most famous bargain basement store could be in doubt.

Leckie’s in Melville Street was opened by James Leckie in 1964 and quickly became a mecca for customers looking for quality goods at value for money prices.

His son, Jim, took over in the 1970s before retiring in 2015 and selling the premises to local businessman Stephen Carr.

Last March Mr Carr rented the shop to a tenant, but has now applied to Falkirk Council to change the use of the premises from a shop to a food and drink outlet.

Because the plans may affect the character or appearance of the conservation area, the council has had to advertise the proposal under the terms of the Town and Country Planning Act before its director of development services can make any recommendation.

When Mr Carr took over Leckie’s two years ago he said he intended to keep the Leckie’s name and give the shop a “bit of a makeover” and added: “Afterall, everyone knows where Leckie’s is in the town.”

James Leckie was a chimney sweep until a knee injury stopped him climbing roofs. He opened an auction room in Melville Street selling surplus stock and on an ‘average’ Saturday could have 400 people coming through his doors looking for a bargain.

Eventually the huge array of goods he had on the premises - anything from casserole dishes to Italian wool suits - were sold out of cardboard boxes with the price scribbled on pieces of card.

Whem Jim took over he kept the shop stocked by buying job lots in bulk and selling them on.

He said: “It was a niche market at the time. I always looked for good quality branded goods where possible.”

David Leask, who is now running Leckie’s, said: “Things took a bit of a dip earlier in the year but are now looking up. I want to continue the Leckie’s name, but don’t know just right now if that will be possible.”