10:30AM, Friday 21 April 2017
Marks & Spencer’s Slough High Street branch may shut this year as the nationwide chain announced yesterday (Thursday) it was formally consulting its 60 employees on closing.
The proposal is part of the company’s wider plans to shut six UK stores as part of its strategy to have fewer clothes and home outlets but more smaller-sized food shops.
The company says this is based on changing consumer patterns.
If the proposal goes ahead then Slough’s High Street store, which has been in the town since 1933, would close in June.
The company said all of the shop’s 60 employees would be guaranteed jobs in nearby stores.
Marks & Spencer’s home counties and southern regional manager Gordon Scott said: “We have made the difficult but necessary decision to propose the closure of the Slough store. It is not one we have taken lightly and we will now work closely with our colleagues on the consultation.”
Concerns were raised by Slough residents last year when several big name brands fled the town centre including BHS, River Island and Topshop.
Members of the public complained of the High Street losing its good quality shops.
In November 2016 the Queensmere Observatory Shopping Centre was bought for £130million by multi-billion investment firm AIDA (Abu Dhabi Investment Authority).
In March this year the council announced that it had bought the old Thames Valley University (TVU) campus to make way for plans to build 1,400 new homes as well as shops and leisure facilities.
Slough Borough Council’s leader Cllr Sohail Munawar (Lab, Elliman) said: “It would be a shame if M&S decide to leave our town, however, as a council we have not been short in our ambition to transform the town centre.
“The recent deal with AIDA will bring huge benefits to all residents, and our £550m regeneration of the TVU site will provide increased homes, office space and retail opportunities for our residents which will put our town on the map as a premier destination.”
Marks & Spencer’s announcement came on the same day Debenhams announced it may have to close 10 of its stores.
Debenhams, which has a store in Slough High Street, has not yet said which of its stores are at risk.
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