By Ian McConnell

A HIGHLANDWEAR company has secured coronavirus business interruption loan scheme funding to help expand its offering as it navigates the impact of the pandemic.

Aberdeen-based McCalls, which was founded in 1887 and has seven Scottish stores including outlets in Elgin, Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Dundee as well as in the Granite City, has secured the funding from Royal Bank of Scotland. McCalls is one of the largest kilt-makers, hirers, and retailers in Scotland.

As well as providing Highlandwear, McCalls offers Scottish giftware, and antique and contemporary jewellery.

The pandemic has forced McCalls, owned by managing director Iain Hawthorne, to diversify its ways of working amid temporary store closures and wedding postponements.

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Royal Bank noted the past 11 months had seen McCalls’ 84-strong workforce adapt to conduct virtual consultations through Zoom and lead socially distanced fittings in store, where restrictions allowed.

The bank funding has helped McCalls update its marketing strategy and incorporate new ways of working into its ongoing operating model to serve its global customer base.

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Royal said the funding would also support the Highlandwear firm with staff retention and re-training, and ensure the continued operation of McCalls’ Tillicoultry factory, Daiglen of Scotland.