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Marks and Spencer to close Warrington town centre store

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MARKS and Spencer today confirmed that its town centre branch at Warrington is among six set to close.
The company said it is consulting staff about the proposed closure of the Golden Square store – and pledged that no staff would lose their jobs.
It is believed about 380 staff members are affected – including about 100 at Warrington.
The announcement comes after months of rumours – and less than a year after the opening of the M&S food store at Stockton Heath.
The major M&S store at Gemini is not affected by the proposals.
Cllr Tony McCarthy, chairman of Warrington Borough Council’s development management committee confirmed today that at the time M&S were granted planning consent for the Gemini store they gave an undertaking that the Golden Square store would not be affected.
But he added: “I was not on the planning committee then so I am not sure whether that undertaking was for a limited number of years or in perpetuity.
“I will be looking into exactly what was agreed at the time.
“I am not surprised by this. So many people are shopping online now and younger people in particular do not seem to be going to Marks and Spencer.”

Cllr Terry O’Neill, leader of the borough council, said: “It is regrettable that one of the key establishments in our retail sector is taking this decision. We are very disappointed in the decision and we will be seeking urgent discussions with the Marks and Spencer management, to see if all or part of the store can be retained for the benefit of Warrington people.
“It is really important that we impress upon the decision makers our ambitious plans for Warrington, which are progressing at a rapid pace. We are investing over £100m in the retail heart of our town and taking steps to repopulate our town centre, as part of our New City plans. This work will create a vibrant, welcoming, diverse and friendly town centre, for generations to come. Marks and Spencer should be part of that and that’s why we believe their decision to close, at the start of this renaissance, is the wrong one.
“We will also be checking the planning documents in relation to the Marks and Spencer store at Gemini retail park and any conditions which were attached to that regarding the town centre store.”
Despite the closures announced today, M&S has also confirmed it has plans to open 34 food stores and two clothing stores across the UK in the next six months.
The loss of the Golden Square store is likely to have a major impact on Warrington town centre – and on Golden Square.
People living in the south of the borough are thought to make little use of the M&S at Gemini – particularly because of the congested road system in North Warrington.
One Lymm resident said: “It will be easier to go to other branches of M&S outside Warrington than to go to Gemini. I have only been there twice since it opened and I found the traffic a nightmare.”

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  1. Yes it’s a shame that the town centre branch of M&S may be closing after all these years and I’m sure it will be seen as a loss to some but in reality and the grand scale of things at the end of the day it’s only a shop and to be honest there never seems to be that many people in there anyway.

    The rates/rent they pay there just for starters must be huge so from a business point of view I can see why they probably want out after all they are a business so footfall & sales VS overhead costs and the likes play a crucial role. Just as they do in any business.

    With more and more people shopping on line these days and M&S offering delivery and free local store collection plus also offering delivery and free returns through the likes of Hermes (either to your door or to collection points within other non M&S shops across town for ease) then why would they want to pay huge amounts to keep a town centre store open.

    Interesting to read that the council are now looking at past approval of the Gemini store though and seem to be in a bit of a tiz about the possible closure That has been there for years so what’s the point? Also Terry Oniel is quoted as saying “We are very disappointed in the decision and we will be seeking urgent discussions with the Marks and Spencer management, to see if all or part of the store can be retained for the benefit of Warrington people.”….. errm ok so what does that mean ? Surely they [council] can’t force a business to stay open in a location if they [business] are loosing money because of it. Maybe they [council] can though but surely in the long term would be at the detriment of their other M&S local stores.

    I;m boring myself now…..at the end of the day Warrington people can shop at M&S regardless of whether the town centre shop stays open or not.

    I guess it could always be turned into a library though as it’s way bigger than the Funky Dory shop where the proposed new library was supposed to go before the backlash.

    People really do need to get a grip on reality lol

  2. reason council panicking is the loss of revenue from rates and the dent in their plans for a mega shopping experience in warrington. on a more cynical note it may be that they have to give some of the bungs back for letting them open the gemeni store.

    • Don’t know about “the bungs” SID, but surely it’s a little late to start checking what was agreed by M&S and the Council at the planning approval stage. Like so many others those planning documents will (or should) have “disappeared” in the great planning documents shred-fest that caused all that trouble a few years ago. If they do turn up questions will need to be asked.

  3. There has always been a marks & spencer in Warringtons Town center. I can even remember my favourite dress my granny bought for me when i was 3 that was 45 years ago ! It will be sadly missed by myself & my family when its gone. I just hope our council can offer them a space so we can get a m&s food hall & even perhaps a m&s cafe to use up some of the smaller vacant shops. Even open m&s pop up xmas food etc like in trafford center. They need to be looking into this now.

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