Saturday, June 22, 2024

Redhill: Threat to Belfry shopping centre Marks & Spencer branch – BBC News

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Image caption, Redhill’s Marks & Spencer branch is in the Belfry shopping centre

  • Author, Bob Dale
  • Role, BBC News, South East

Marks & Spencer is considering closing its branch in Redhill, Surrey.

The outlet is based in the Belfry shopping centre.

The company said it had decided to review the store’s future because “shopping habits are changing”, and it needed to “deliver the right stores with the right space to deliver the best shopping experience for customers”.

It said those working in Redhill would be offered alternative roles elsewhere, wherever possible.

Marks & Spencer has been part of the Belfry since the shopping centre opened in 1991.

Centre manager Andy Nash told BBC Radio Surrey he was surprised at the decision.

“Year to date, we’re over 20% up in terms of visitor numbers,” he said.

“We know the store trades profitably, but equally we know that medium sized department stores such as ours don’t fit the long term strategy of Marks & Spencer.”

But he said even though a final decision has yet to be taken, other possible replacement tenants had been in touch following the announcement.

He said: “We’re confident it will be occupied very quickly. We’ve got interest from a number of national retailers of general merchandise, food and leisure.”

Image source, Getty Images

Image caption, The company has begun to focus more of its efforts on food retailing

In its statement, Marks & Spencer said: “In the last year we’ve invested more than £12.5m in our stores in the south east.

“We are open to the idea of investing in a new M&S food hall in the borough of Reigate and Banstead in the future, subject to being able to find the right type of site.

“We appreciate this proposal to close will be disappointing news to some customers.”

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