A roll call of more than 30 businesses to have deserted a weekly’s patch adorned its front page as the newspaper pondered how the collapse of British Homes Stores could affect the area.
The Fife Free Press published the list on yesterday’s front, pictured below, to highlight the plight of Kirkcaldy town centre.
BHS, which went into administration on Monday putting 11,000 jobs at risk, opened its first Scottish store in Kirkcaldy in 1964.
The ideas of the roll call of names started as a side piece to the main feature written by Maggie Millar, which covered local reaction to the company’s demise.
Editor Allan Crow said: “The list was quickly added to by staff across the departments – and that gave us the idea to use it as a front page on its own right. It soon became a page that had much more impact than any pic of the shop ever would.
“With some staff having been born and bred in Kirkcaldy we tapped into their knowledge of traders from a generation or more ago – as well as big names such as Argos, McDonald’s HMV, we were able to throw in evocative names from the past such as the Green Cockatoo cafe which was a great local landmark, and all the traditional names on the High Street which are still remembered.”
The page was designed by Phil Smith at the Johnston Press Sheffield design hub.
Allan added: “It was his idea to drop the small BHS shop front image and go with text only.
“It was a good shout – the power of the written word made this a real stand out front page, and one that generated immediate reaction from readers and also businesses in the town centre, some of whom felt it portrayed the town centre negatively. They liked the coverage but not the front cover.
“Thanks to readers’ responses our roll call of businesses which have left the town centre now stands at 50 – and these have been uploaded to our website where we hope to expand it further.”