M&S to close at Barons Quay and Barrow

Marks & Spencer’s stores at Northwich’s Barons Quay and in Barrow are among the 17 outlets due to be axed under the retailer’s latest store closure plans.

The Marks & Spencer store sits in a prominent position opposite the town’s Asda, and sits within Barons Quay, Cheshire West & Cheshire’s flagship £71m retail scheme in the centre of Northwich.

Along with Barons Quay’s M&S, the retailer also announced plans to shut its outlet in Barrow as part of wide move which will see 100 stores shut in the coming months.

The retailer said it would enter a period of consultation with affected employees, and will look to retain as many as possible. It is understood the closure of the Northwich store could impact 60 staff, while a similar number could be impacted at Barrow.

As part of the plans to cut stores, a number of outlets have already closed in the North West. These include sites at Speke Shopping Park, Birkenhead, Stockport, and Warrington.

Other stores, including those at Llandudno and St Helens, will relocate.

The other stores to close are: Ashford, Bedford, Boston, Buxton, Cwmbran, Deal, Felixstowe, Huddersfield, Hull, Junction One Antrim Outlet, Luton Arndale, Newark, Rotheram, Sutton Coldfield, and Weston Super Mare.

Sacha Berendji, retail, operations and property director at Marks & Spencer, said: “We’re continuing to transform M& S with pace and as part of this we are making good progress with our plans to close over 100 stores – radically reshaping our store estate to become more relevant for our customers.

“Proposing to close stores is never easy, for our colleagues, customers or the local community, but it is vital for the future of M&S. Where we have closed stores, we are continuing to see an encouraging number of customers choosing other nearby locations and shopping on M&S.com.”

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Everyone from Northwich saw this coming We told Cheshire west and chester council that Barons quay was the wrong business model for the future of retail many years ago but they just ploughed ahead and ultimately wasted tax payers money on £71 million of empty shops

By Concerned Northwich resident

The photo shows it crowded as always!

By zoro

This latest closure will make it more difficult to attract other retailers into Barons Quay as a result of a big name company exiting. Not CWAC’s fault but the Council has yet again demonstrated they have no idea about the real commercial world. Money being spent and wasted on projects that were always going to struggle. No doubt the tax payer will be footing the bill of their increased expenditure in marketing costs to try and attract new retailers. If CWAC was a private company it would have gone bust years ago!

By Working in the real world

It’s a shame for Northwich. CWAC has promoted M&S as an anchor for Barons Quay although their presence did of course precede this development disaster. When your core customer is from an older demographic, one has to question the wisdom of “stealing” their surface car park and replacing it with one 2 storeys high and accessed via a travellator. This was an inevitable consequence. The final nail in the coffin will occur when Sainsbury merge with ASDA and the Competition Commission demand closure of duplicate stores. RIP Barons Quay. God Help CWAC Council Tax payers.

By Tilly

Barons Quay is destined to become the unwelcome national poster child for local authority investment in non-core activities.

The principal of ‘invest to earn’ is fine, but when you don’t just lack the technical and financial acumen to make the call, but also the necessary market feel and internal corporate culture, you’re doomed to fail. Decisions get made through a political prism rather than a market-facing one and as such will never end well.

You’ve got to feel sorry for the taxpayers of CWAC.

By Sceptical

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