Stockton’s Marks and Spencer store will close on Saturday 11th August with staff transferred or made redundant on that day.
The date was confirmed in a letter to Stockton North MP, Alex Cunningham – but the company couldn’t tell him what is going to happen with the store on which they have a lease of around 250 years.
Alex wrote to Marks and Spencer when it was announced in the press that the company was considering closing their Stockton store, and despite pleading the case for the shop to stay open, it appears that Marks and Spencer had long made their decision.
In the response from Marks and Spencer, they assured Alex that are continuing to consult on the impact of the closure and that they will offer colleagues redeployment to other M&S stores, and where it is not possible, they will start redundancy procedures.
The withdrawal of M&S from Stockton means that there will be a large empty unit in the middle of the High Street. Marks and Spencer currently have a 250 year lease on the building, but they have assured Alex that they are working to ensure the property is not left vacant for a significant period of time.
Upon receiving the response from Marks and Spencer, Alex said:
“I am disappointed that I was not able to make the case for Marks and Spencer to remain here in Stockton, but I am pleased that they are working to redeploy staff from the store where appropriate.
“I am very concerned about the unit being empty, and I will be keeping a close eye on what happens next. They appear to be optimistic that it will attract a new retailer to rent the unit – if that doesn’t happen, M&S face a long term bill for rent and business rates for the next two centuries or more.”
For more information, contact Alex on 020 7219 7157 or on firstname.lastname@example.org