Birkenhead’s Marks & Spencer store will close by the end of April and two further stores in the North West are proposed for closure as part of the retailer’s ongoing estate overhaul.
The store in Birkenhead, located in the Pyramids Shopping Centre, is one of six stores nationally that will close in three months’ time. M&S said all staff from these stores would move to nearby branches following the closure.
Alongside the Birkenhead store, two further North West outlets have been earmarked for closure: the Stockport store in the Merseyway Shopping Centre, and the M&S Outlet store in Denton on the Crown Point North Shopping Park.
The retailer said there would be a consultation period on any redundancies, and in the event of closure, “all colleagues would be redeployed or offered redeployment at other stores before redundancy is considered”.
Stockport Council said it was “disappointed, but not surprised” that M&S would be looking to close its branch in the town.
“The trading problems the retailer has been facing over recent years have been well documented and the investment that has been made into the Stockport store by the retailer has been limited, and in light of this we have been working to prepare for all eventualities.
“We are now in discussions with the retailer over their future intentions for Stockport, their plans for the site and to ensure that we can offer the affected staff as much support as possible.”
The Merseyway Shopping Centre was bought out of administration by the council in April 2016, and is subject to a potential rebuild and refurbishment programme which was signed off by Stockport’s cabinet late last year.
Sacha Berendji, director of retail at Marks & Spencer said, “We’re committed to transforming M&S for our customers, colleagues and shareholders. Stores will always be an integral part of our customer experience, alongside M&S.com, but we have to ensure we have the right offer in the right locations.
“We don’t want any colleagues to leave M&S and we will work with each colleague individually on what is best for them as we endeavour to give everyone a role. However, we accept in some cases we may have to consider redundancy.
“We believe these changes are vital for the future of M&S and we will continue to accelerate the programme, taking tough but necessary decisions, as we focus on making M&S special.”
The retailer currently has 1,025 stores in the UK, including 302 clothing, home and food branches; 684 food-only stores; and 39 outlets.
The other stores closing by the end of April are Bournemouth, Durham, Fforestfach, Putney, and Redditch. Other stores considered for closure are in Andover, Basildon, Bridlington, Falmouth, Fareham, and Keighley.