M&S today (31st January 2018) announced that it is consulting with 50 colleagues on the proposed closure of its Andover High Street store.
The proposed closure is part of M&S’s programme to modernise its UK store estate to better meet the changing needs of customers.
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.”
Aaron Spicer, Head of Region for Wessex, said: “Proposing to close the Andover store has been a difficult but necessary decision. Over the coming weeks we’ll be talking to each colleague individually about what is right for them and we’ll update customers and the community as soon as we can.”
In a joint statement local MP, Kit Malthouse and Leader of Test Valley Borough Council, Phil North said, “We are deeply disappointed that Marks & Spencer are considering the closure of their store in Andover, which is valued by many local residents. This is a particularly puzzling decision considering the growing population of Andover and the previous success of the store.
We call on Marks & Spencer to reconsider their decision – and are organising an urgent meeting with their representatives to understand the reasons for closure and to ask them to retain a presence in Andover town centre. We have also written to their Chairman, Archie Norman. Moreover we are trying to make contact with the landlord, Diamond Property Holdings Ltd, to see if any deal can be brokered.”
Including Andover, M&S has today proposed eight stores for closure and announced that a further six will close by the end of April, these are Basildon, Bridlington, Denton, Falmouth, Fareham, Keighley and Stockport.
Nearby stores to M&S Andover include:
Winchester (16 miles away) selling Clothing and Food
Newbury (19 miles away) selling Clothing and Food
Newbury Retail Park Simply Food (16 miles away)
All of these stores offer Click & Collect for customers who purchase online at M&S.com. Three quarters of M&S.com orders are now collected in a store.