Published On: Fri, Jul 28th, 2017

Marks and Spencer store shutting down: Uproar in THIS city as high street branch shuts

Residents of Warrington will see their Golden Square branch shut as part of plans announced by the company in April.

In total the county will lose six M&S branches – and the closure of the town centre store was a move that angered residents.

Locals took to Twitter to express their disappointment, and one wrote: “Marks and Spencer in Golden Square closing down in June. Shame that, been there for years!!!”

A campaign was started to save the store when the company made their initial announcement.

Council bosses also objected to the plans and asked Marks and Spencer to reconsider.

But council leader Cllr Terry O’Neill said while he was “disappointed” by the news, the town centre has a “bright future” thanks to the ongoing regeneration project.

The town should not be badly affected by job losses, as most staff have opted to move to nearby branches.

A spokesperson confirmed to the Warrington Guardian that all 95 staff at the shop were offered jobs in nearby stores.

Most chose to go to the store in Gemini Retail Park, and others leaving for the food only branch in Stockton Heath.

However a few staff members have decided not to relocate and are currently in conversation with managers about their next steps.

A spokesman added: “We have worked with every colleague individually on what is best for them and the vast majority of colleagues are moving to Marks and Spencer Gemini or another local store.”

M&S has been in Warrington town centre since it first opened a stall in the old Warrington Market before moving to a bricks-and-mortar shop on Sankey Street sometime in the 1930s.

The store was also one of the first to open when Golden Square opened in 1979.

There is currently no one set to take over the store once M&S move out, and a spokesperson confirmed last month they were still looking for a new retailer for the unit.

The high street chain is facing a tough future, and a surprise drop in food sales has thrown recovery in doubt.

Shares in the retail giant fell 15p to 323p as investors digested a shock 0.1 per cent fall in same-store food sales over the 13 weeks to July 1, compared with analysts’ expectations for 0.6 per cent growth.

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