Macc M&S among most ‘likely to shut’

Macclesfield Express - - HOSPITAL SPECIAL REPORT - RHI­AN­NON MCDOWALL

EX­PERTS be­lieve that Mac­cles­field’s Marks & Spencer store is among those most likely to close.

M&S an­nounced plans last week to shut 30 of its cloth­ing stores and con­vert 45 into Sim­ply Food stores, but have so far re­fused to con­firm which stores are at risk.

Now a group of re­tail an­a­lysts from the Lo­cal Data Com­pany have re­leased a list of the stores they be­lieve to be most at risk – and it in­cludes the Mill Street store in Mac­cles­field.

The an­a­lysts came up with the short­list based on towns which have more than one M&S store, ei­ther on the high street, in a shop­ping cen­tre or on the edge of town in a re­tail park.

Mac­cles­field’s Street store faces com­pe­ti­tion from Mill stiff the much big­ger store Hand­forth Dean.

Matthew Hop­kin­son, di­rec­tor of the Lo­cal Data Com­pany, said on his blog: “De­tailed anal­y­sis of M&S stores shows one pos­si­ble area for ra­tio­nal­i­sa­tion which has re­sulted from the re­cent changes to re­tail parks. at

“There are 35 towns and cities that have more than two M&S stores ei­ther on the high street, in a shop­ping cen­tre or on the edge of town in a re­tail park. There are 22 towns where one might ques­tion the need for two stores.”

But bosses at M&S have dis­tanced them­selves from the spec­u­la­tion, say­ing it is not based on of­fi­cial M&S data.

A spokesper­son said: “We are very dis­ap­pointed that any­one would choose to spec­u­late in this way. This list is not based on any M&S data and we have not pub­lished any lo­ca­tions.

“What we have done is out­lined plans to im­prove our store es­tate over the next five years, which in­clude open­ing 200 new food stores and sell­ing cloth­ing and home from 60 fewer stores.”

The threat has sparked con­cern among read­ers who fear the loss of such a big store would dam­age the town fur­ther.

Shelagh Swindells said: “It will be a dis­as­ter for Mac­cles­field, there is noth­ing now to en­cour­age peo­ple to shop in Macc – even less if they go.”

Carolyn Git­tins added: “If M&S go, no point in build­ing new shops, Mac­cles­field will die. It is a main at­trac­tion for a lot of peo­ple.”

But Chris Stair­mand is con­fi­dent the store will re­main.

He said: “The Macc M&S has been out­per­form­ing its pre­vi­ous years for a cou­ple of years now. It is busy and show­ing growth.”

Ex­perts say Mac­cles­field’s Mill Street Marks and Spencer is one of those most likely to close in the M&S store shake-up

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