Reader and former M&S employee Hugh Anderson has sent the Falkirk Herald a poignant photograph which captures the spirit of a store many regular customers thought would always be part of local life.
It wasn’t just an ordinary goodbye - it was a Falkirk M&S farewell from a devastated but proud local staff, doing their job with customary style to the end.
Hugh’s picture shows the very last shopper, laden with M&S bags, leaving the supermarket for the last time - with a special Falkirk M&S thankyou from staff for all her custom over the years.
Hugh was determined to take the picture despite the inevitable confusion and emotions on the day, as it represents a pivotal moment in local retail history,
M&S has been bitterly criticised for the way it handled the closure, which has left a massive gap at the core of the town’s shopping amenities.
Hugh, in what must have been difficult circumstances, went to the trouble of taking a picture which for many may sum up the true value of the shopping experience at Falkirk’s M&S.
The heartbreak - needlessly compounded by M&S’s handling of the crisis, say critics - was replicated at the other stores across the UK which fell victim to the firm’s desperate cull of branches.
Hugh had to take a phone call before he had a chance to ask the lady shopper her name, so if any reader can help us with that we would be grateful.