Dundee retail institution Cooper and McKenzie to close after 144 years in city

One of Dundee’s oldest retail institutions is to close at the end of the month.

Cooper and McKenzie menswear will shut up shop on January 31 after 144 years in the city.

Grant Mitchell, manager of Cooper and McKenzie in Reform Street

Grant Mitchell, 57, who manages the Reform Street store, revealed he had always planned to step down at this point in his career.

He said: “As they say in business, nothing is forever – it was always my intention to stand down from retail at this stage.

“I had originally thought about setting a retirement date around Christmas because I always measure my working life in Christmases.

“But January 31 made more sense – it’s the month people want a bargain so it made sense to carry on.

“I’m retiring from menswear and going into pastures new with other business interests.

“It’s another chapter in my life. I will be going into developing property and the retail section of the business will close.

“The registered company of Cooper and McKenzie will continue in operation after January 31 and onwards.

“It is simply a tweak in the structure of the company which is set to take place with the retail section closing.

“From an unsual start as a potato merchant in 1874, the company diversified into the tailoring business.

“I will now concentrate more time on, and expand, the commercial property letting element of the business.”

The company’s premises on Reform Street will be put up for let.

Cooper and McKenzie in 1946
Cooper and McKenzie in the past

Reflecting on the evolution of the street which has been the store’s home for more than a century, Mr Mitchell said: “The street is coming back.

“We’re only yards from City Square and the city is getting back on its feet.

“The council has recognised problems and some of the empty units are now occupied.”

Before the closure at the end of the month, customers can still pick up a few bargains.

More than 4,000 items of clothing have arrived from the company’s warehouse and are available to buy.

Mr Mitchell said: “The Dundee public always react well to a bargain so if you see something which fits, buy it.

“Through the decades many valued staff will have happy memories of their time and the experience gained at Cooper and McKenzie.”

Loyal customer Shona Anderson said: “I have been coming here since I was a bairn and you always get quality. This place will be missed.”