Stockton North MP, Alex Cunningham, has called on Marks and Spencer to reconsider its decision to close its Stockton Hight Street branch – following its announcement on Tuesday 22 May.
In an email to Alex, M&S state that they have “regrettably concluded that it is no longer commercially viable to continue trading” from its shop on the High Street, and that the proposal to close the store forms part of its “store transformation programme”. The decision, which is set to come into effect in 2018-19 will see 45 employees offered redeployment in the first instance.
The decision by M&S to close its Stockton store is a huge blow not only to the people who work and shop there, but to Stockton High Street as a whole. Yet again, we are seeing the impact of out of town complexes which have been the death knell for so many towns.
In recent years, Stockton High Street has undergone £38 million worth of regeneration, is attracting new stores, and was crowned High Street of Year, 2016. This announcement flies in the face of this demonstrable upturn in our High Street’s fortunes, and I’ll be writing to the Chief Executive of M&S, to call on him to reconsider this decision.