THE branch of fashion chain M&Co in Sherborne is to close with the loss of six jobs.

However, the Shaftesbury store will remain open under a restructure which will close 47 stores.

The company said more than 200 stores were reopening under the restructuring which would save more than 2,200 jobs.

M&Co appointed administrators in April as coronavirus forced most UK retailers to close.

Chief executive Andy McGeoch said the Covid-19 pandemic has been the biggest challenge the family business has faced in around 60 years.

He said: “It quickly became clear that best way to save most jobs and most stores was to enter administration, with a new company acquiring the assets of the old business, and this process has now been finalised. I am really pleased that we have been able to maintain a presence in over 200 communities.

“Covid-19 means many people don’t feel comfortable travelling on public transport or visiting busy city centres and that can be good news for local high street stores like M&Co.

“That’s why we are looking at ways of working in partnership with other local retailers to highlight the tremendous range of shopping that can be found in communities like this all over the country.

“Local economies rely to a huge degree on their town centres and we have seen too many high streets hollowed out by successive shop closures.”

“More and more people are beginning to realise that, if they don’t support their town centres, everyone’s quality of living really takes a hit, so we are proud to be playing a part in the drive to shop locally."

Talking about the shop’s market and customers, Mr McGeoch said: “The response from our customers during lockdown was phenomenal. It’s hugely encouraging to hear our customers say how much they have missed us after months away.”