In the last fortnight Marks and Spencer’s made the announcement that at least 14 of their stores around the country are under threat of closure.
M&S management announced that 5 of these stores will definitely close and that an extra 9 are ‘proposed for closure’ subject to a consultation with the staff at those stores – one of these proposed stores in the one in Abington Street, Northampton.
There is of course a growing trend towards online shopping – as the Chancellor of the Exchequer has said “the nature of retailing is changing. Britain is leading the world in the adoption of online retail, which has huge opportunities, but will also bring huge changes.” Of course whilst we must take measures to embrace the ever-changing nature of the economy it is important that our high streets remain strong in order to support the local community.
M&S is a great British brand which has a long history of delivering very high-quality products. Indeed, M&S is a staple of the British high street as they have been trading since 1884.
Northampton was actually one of the first towns to have an M&S store, and I believe there was a branch in Northampton before 1897. In my view we must do everything we can to keep it open for the benefit of the local economy. On Wednesday, 23rd May I conducted an interview with Heart Radio about the proposed closure in which I called for the M&S store in Northampton to stay open. I have also written to the Chief Executive of M&S Steve Rowe to register my support for keeping the Northampton branch open emphasising the importance of the store to the residents of Northampton.
It is my sincere wish that M&S remains on the Northampton high street for the benefit of the staff, the residents of Northampton and for the local economy.