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By Hugh Boag
The long term future of the second Co-op store in Brodick appeared in doubt this week.
The Co-op convenience store at Invercloy is believed to have been put up for sale and is expected to close within a year. It is understood a housing development is proposed for the site.
It will see an end to trading on the site after 140 years when the original store was founded by the Misses Currie in 1880 in the very humble beginnings of a small shack.
Currries would go on to become an institution in Brodick and many older residents still use the name.
The present building was constructed in the 1950s and there was a tearoom upstairs, while downstairs, in what would now be considered cramped conditions, groceries, stationary, clothing and shoes were sold over the counter.
It wasn’t until 1981 that the old counter service disappeared and it was changed over to self-service after it was bought by Bob Brass and partner Alastair Bilsland, who were credited at the time with being rather pioneering.
The biggest challenge came in 1995 and, just a week before the new Co-op supermarket opened in Brodick, Alastair Bilsland, who was by then running the store, more than doubled the floorspace to compete, operating through membership of Nisa.
But just a year later the Alldays name first appeared when it was bought by the West of Scotland Convenience Stores Ltd.
They were a franchise of Alldays which was later bought out by the central group.
In 2002 the Alldays group of 600 stores, including Arran, was bought by the Co-operative Group which has operated the store for the last 18 years and expanding it in just the last few years.
Despite promising a statement, the Co-op headquarters in Manchester did not provide one before the Banner went to press. But a spokeswoman did confirm: ‘There are no changes to the store that are imminent, and any changes are a long way off.’