The closures of M&S stores in Leamington and Warwick would be a severe blow to the vitality of our town centres, says MP Matt Western
Earlier today we broke the news that M&S plans to close its store inside the Royal Priors Shopping Centre and its Simply Food store in Warwick.
But it will keep its foodhall on the Parade open - and open a new out-of-town store at Leamington Shopping Park.
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Matt Western, MP for Warwick and Leamington, has reacted by launching an petition to stop the town centre closures.
He said: “The potential loss of the M&S stores in Leamington’s Royal Priors shopping centre and in Warwick would be a severe blow to the vitality of our town centres.
“Both are always full of customers, and residents will not appreciate having to travel out of town to get shopping.
“The strength of the stores were their supremely convenient positioning in our town centres."
Mr Western's peition can be found online - https://mattwestern.org/campaign/save-our-ms-petition-to-prevent-closure-of-warwick-and-leamington-stores/#petitonHe added: “I have written today to M&S bosses to hear the rationale for the closures, requesting a meeting to discuss the situation and to put residents’ feelings across.
“The loss of these important anchor stores could lead to yet more shop closures in our town centres if we do not fight for them to be retained.
“Residents have been loyal to M&S for many years and now it is time for the company to be loyal to us.”
Craig Burton, regional manager for M&S, said: “We’re excited to announce our plans to open a brand new, larger M&S full line store in the Leamington Shopping Park, which will offer local customers a much bigger range of M&S products across our food and clothing and home departments.
"The new M&S Foodhall will be finished this summer, with our clothing and home department following in the autumn.
“In line with the expansion, our existing Leamington Royal Priors clothing and home store and Warwick Simply Food store will close once the development is completed with colleagues moving to work in our new store.
"We appreciate this may be disappointing news for some, but we believe this is the right decision to ensure we can deliver the very best M&S offer for customers in Leamington and Warwick.
"We will keep the community updated as the works progress.
“The investment in the town is part of the wider reshaping of our store estate to make sure it’s fit for the future, meeting the needs of customers today – and those of tomorrow.”