ADMINISTRATORS acting for stricken department store group Watt Brothers have today said they are continuing to clear remaining stock and exploring options for the Scottish retailer.

The historic business, which was established in 1915, went into administration on October 18, resulting in 229 of its 306 staff immediately being made redundant. A further 19 people have since lost their jobs.

Ten stores were immediately closed but the outlet on Glasgow’s Sauchiehall Street has remained open to clear outstanding stock.

Administrators at KPMG said today that the talks with parties interested in acquiring the business are continuing, adding that trading on Sauchiehall Street is now expected to carry on into next month. Some 59 members of staff remain in post while the stock clearance sale carries on. All lines have now been reduced by up to 20%, the administrators said.

READ MORE: Watt Brothers goes into administration after 100 years

Blair Nimmo, joint administrator and UK head of restructuring at KPMG, said: "I want to thank the Watt Brothers staff who have worked tirelessly to assist with the stock replenishment and clearance. Throughout this process, we have been exploring a range of options and seeking the best possible outcome for the business, which is clearly close to the hearts of shoppers in Glasgow and throughout the central belt.

“We are working closely with Skills Development Scotland, via their PACE team, and JobCentre Plus to support the staff who have been made redundant, and we would encourage any party who has an interest in acquiring the business and its assets to contact us as soon as possible.”

The administrators said in October that Watt Brothers had been able to increase turnover year on year, with sales peaking at £24m in 2018. However pressure on margins, sparked by the growth in online retailing and the broader downturn on the high street, dragged it into the red.

An attempt to secure new investment proved to be unsuccessful.

The strain facing high street retailers was underlined this week when Mothercare went into administration, with an expected loss of 2,800 jobs.