Consultation continues on future of Falkirk M&S

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Staff and customers at Falkirk’s High Street Marks & Spencer store are still in the dark over its future.

Three weeks ago the company announced it was consulting on closing 14 stores across the UK as part of cost-cutting programme to reshape its retail estate.

Falkirk and East Kilbride were the two Scottish towns where M&S is proposing to pull out.

At that time Sacha Berendji, retail director, said: “Closing stores isn’t easy but it is vital for the future of M&S.”

However, the announcement has been met with concerns from shoppers, politicians and other businesses in the town.

Councillor Cecil Meiklejohn, leader of Falkirk Council, has already met with officials to urge them to reconsider – or at least look to relocating to a smaller unit.

There were fears the shop could be closing as early as August but the company has said no decision has yet been made and the consultation “will take as long as it needs”.

Shoppers have also been making their feelings known. Stephen Downs of Falkirk said: “The company needs reminded of the unique town planning function performed by the store i.e. creating, a busy pedestrian thoroughfare through the town by linking the main street to the central indoor shopping centre, surely of unique and obvious commercial advantage.”

While a Grangemouth resident said after a recent shopping trip to Falkirk: “Once again Marks & Spencer was doing a great turnover. Why close a busy shop?”

Yesterday (Wednesday), an M&S spokesperson said: “We value feedback from our customers, the community and local representatives and will always engage with them on a proposed closure of a store.”

They added that anyone who wanted to send feedback on the proposed closure could email: retailcustomer.services@marks-and-spencer.com.