GLASGOW'S oldest department store is facing an uncertain future.

The owner of Watt Brothers has announced possible plans to sell the four-storey property on Sauchiehall Street to repay debts.

Willie Watt said the proceeds of the sale would be ploughed back into the struggling business to help fund an expansion plan.

He said:”The last few years in the retail sector have been brutal.

“Older stores do not lend themselves to modern retailing. People are looking for deals and bargains all the time.”

He said a final decision on the disposal of its flagship store had not yet been taken, despite assurances to that effect in the company’s latest accounts.

Mr Watt, 51 adde: ”We are potentially looking at a new site in Glasgow. If we do move, it would be to a site that is all on one floor.”

The rescue plan comes on the back of the company’s most recent annual performance report, which shows the 11-store business made a loss of almost £750,000 on group sales of more than £21 million.

Accounts to year ending January, 2017, also show that managing director Willie Watt, the fourth generation of his family to run the 103 year old retail firm, has secured new year-long bank loan facilities to keep his business running.

Key to its success is the disposal of Sauchiehall Street and one other branch, believed to be at Clarkston, in East Renfrewshire.

The Watt Brothers company was formally founded 103 years ago by the current MD’s great grandfather Allan Watt, who moved from the family’s Lanarkshire farm.

Even before the formation of the current company, Mr Watt first launched a shop in Glasgow’s West End, selling ribbons and lace.

He then took over the iconic Sauchiehall Street building and developed a high end ladies fashion business.

Over the century the business has changed its offer to customers and is now seen as a discount store, competing alongside the likes of Home Bargains, TK Maxx and B&M.