FASHION chain M&Co’s stores in Maldon and Burnham have been saved from closure.

Bosses say 47 shops will shut with the loss of 380 jobs as part of a major restructuring to secure its long-term future following the lockdown.

But the Maldon store, in High Street, and the shop in Foundry Lane, Burnham, will remain open.

The high street chain said they are two of 218 stores and 2,200 jobs saved after the restructuring.

Branches in Braintree and Witham will also remain open.

The retailer appointed administrators in April, with the Covid-19 outbreak forcing the closure of shops for almost four months.

It said a reduced network of stores, focused on high streets, would strengthen its position.

Andy McGeoch, chief executive of M&Co, said: “It quickly became clear the 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.

“Covid has been by far the biggest challenge our family business has faced in almost 60 years, and 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 city centres and this can be good news for 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 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 if they don’t support their town centres, everyone’s quality of living really takes a hit.”

M&Co has had a shop in Maldon for more than a decade, with the Burnham store opening two years ago.