Staff opened the doors for the final time in the Marks & Spencer’s Falkirk High Street store this morning.
The store closes tonight at 6pm - one of 14 being axed by the retailer across the UK. This is part of the latest phase of its estates shake up which will see 100 branches closed by 2022. M&S announced on May 22 it was consulting on closing the store in Falkirk’s town centre which has been trading for over 80 years. Five weeks later bosses announced August 11 would be the final trading day. Around 90 staff are affected. Although the company said there would be no voluntary redundancies, some employees are being made redundant after a role couldn’t be found for them in other stores. A handful of others who wanted to leave, the majority after decades of service, are understood to be receiving redundancy packages after an appeals process. Several staff will be transferring to the Central Retail Park food store, others are going to branches in Stirling, Dunblane, the Gyle and Livingston. Politicians have expressed disappointment at the closure. Falkirk MP John McNally said: “I’m saddened by news of the M&S closure. I was hopeful there would be a change of heart from them. “The biggest blow is to the workers and their families who will be concerned for the future at this time.” Michael Matheson, Fakirk West MSP, said: “It’s a huge disappointment for our town that M&S decided to push ahead with this store closure.” Shona Lawrie, head of region for Scotland North & East at Marks & Spencer, said: “Proposing to close the store was a difficult decision. “We hope to see lots of customers continuing to shop with us at our surrounding local stores, including Falkirk Simply Food.”