Marks and Spencer announces closure of two major city centre stores

Marks and Spencer has announced plans to close its branches in Sunderland and Aberdeen.

The Aberdeen department store on St Nicholas Street, which has been open since 1944, will close in 2025 amid £15million plans to open an expanded M&S store in the city’s Union Square shopping centre which will be completed in Spring 2025.

The space in the shopping centre is currently occupied by TK Maxx with the new upgrades will ensure it becomes the fourth biggest M&S branch in Scotland.

The retailer has confirmed that no permanent jobs will be lost following the closure.

Sacha Berendji, M&S operations director said: “Plans for this longer-term relocation have today been shared with colleagues – with all those on permanent contracts transferring over to M&S Aberdeen Union Square or other nearby stores next year.”

The new store will reportedly be a flagship store “on the same scale as city centre stores in Birmingham and Liverpool”, according to Rachel Rankine, north-east regional manager for M&S.

Meanwhile, an exact date for the potential closure of the Sunderland store on High Street West has not been confirmed because a decision on the store’s future is yet to be made concrete.

Philip Barker-Thomson, M&S regional manager, said: “Shopping habits are changing, so we’re rotating our store estate to make sure we have the right stores to offer customers a brilliant shopping experience.

“As part of these changes, we have today announced to colleagues our proposal to close our M&S Sunderland store at 77 High Street West.”

However, the store will continue trading until the new Washington Galleries store is ready to open.

Philip Barker-Thomson continued: “Rotating our store estate involves closing some stores, but it also means investing in opening new stores, including our upcoming new, bigger M&S store nearby in the Galleries Retail Park in Washington.

“The new 47,000 sqft store is part of a £13million investment by M&S in our stores in the North East and will offer local customers a wider range of M&S products than ever before across a new Clothing & Home department and a bigger Foodhall.

“Our priority now is to talk to our colleagues about what this announcement means for them. Under these proposals, the Sunderland store will also continue trading until the new Washington Galleries store is ready to open.”

But it’s not all bad news as M&S will be opening new stores or expanding shops over the next year.

Linlithgow will be getting a new M&S Foodhall which will open later this month and there will be a new full-line store in Dundee’s Gallagher Retail Park which will open in the summer.

Largs is also expected to get a new M&S Foodhall in early 2025.

The announcement of the proposed M&S store closures has left some shoppers angry. Some M&S customers have taken to the social media platform X, formerly Twitter, to share their thoughts.

Malkie posted: “And there goes the final nail on the Union Street coffin.

“M&S and John Lewis have made their millions in Aberdeen during the boom times, as soon as the going gets tough they up sticks and close flagship stores. Disgraceful. The store closure and bus gates have killed our city.”

Andrew Nunn said: “Sunderland closure announced! This onslaught against the North East where M&S started is such a disgrace and a clear North/South divide in your closures!”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *