The old Marks and Spencer store in Spalding

M&S hasn’t completely shut doors on town

Marks and Spencer has not closed the door on Spalding for good, the company has said as another store in the town becomes vacant.

The company says there are currently no suitable locations in the town for an expanded food store after closing its Holland Market site but that it wasn’t giving up on the town.

A spokesman told The Voice that it had taken notice of the huge outpouring of support for the Winfrey Avenue store which closed for good last month and said that it had looked at other locations in the town.

But the spokesman was keen to stress there are no short term potential plans to return to the town.

“Overall we just weren’t able to find a suitable site in the Spalding area.

“We are keeping track of any potential new sites that become available.

“It’s something we’re keeping an eye on. There’s nothing now and it’s not likely in the short term, but we can’t rule out coming back to Spalding.

“The challenge will be that any site will need be big enough to cater for the wider range of products we’re looking to offer and any retail site would need to have sufficient parking for those that called into the shop.

“It was a very difficult decision to close the store.

“We’re obviously extremely grateful for all the support that’s been shown and for the work of staff.

“It’s very much been noted that a lot of people really enjoyed shopping at the site and were disappointed by the decision to close it.”

The store had been earmarked for closure before the outbreak of COVID, but had a year-long stay of execution.

At the time a spokesman said that ‘supporting communities’ was the reason for delaying the store closure.

A ‘reshaping’ of the company’s store estate was given as the reason for closure which affected 33 jobs.

* One store that’s definitely not coming to Spalding is Waitrose.

It and Poundland had been rumoured to be taking over the former M&S branch, the latter of which is advertising for a store managers job in the town.

A Waitrose spokesman said: “We have no firm plans for new Waitrose shops at this time.”

Poundland had not responded to The Voice’s request for a comment.

* B&M is also set to close its Winsover Centre store on May 29 to concentrate on its larger Westlode Street garden centre.

A spokesman for the company said staff at the closing store have transferred to other branches.

The Westlode Street store opened its doors in 2018 and is trading in the former Homebase site

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