M&S has today announced that it is proposing to close its Northwich Barons Quay Shopping Centre store.

The proposed closure is part of M&S’s programme to reshape its UK store estate.

The consultation process has now began with 60 members of staff at risk of losing their jobs. 

Pete Swallow, M&S head of region, said: “Proposing to close our Northwich store has been a difficult decision to make. Over the coming weeks we’ll be talking to each colleague individually as we go through the consultation process.

“We are committed to our loyal customers and, if the proposal goes ahead, will continue to serve them at our Foodhalls in Stockton Heath, Hale and Altrincham, as well as our Full Line stores at Cheshire Oaks and Gemini Retail Park.

"From all our stores we also offer Clothing & Home products via our Click & Collect service on M&S.com.”

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Weaver Vale MP Mike Amesbury described it as 'terrible news for Northwich' and says he has written to the company's chief executive to ask him to reconsider. 

Mike said: “This is terrible news for Northwich and a worrying time for the many staff employed at the store.

“I’m extremely disappointed that the company has taken this decision, especially as I’ve previously been told that the store was doing well, and that in fact shoppers were travelling there from surrounding areas such as Warrington, following the closure of the M&S store there.

“I’ve written to the company’s chief executive urging the company to reconsider these plans, and to engage formally with the USDAW union.

“I’ll also be liaising with council leaders, Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership and others to try and ensure staff there are supported as much as possible.”  

Cllr Brian Clarke, cabinet member for economic development and infrastructure, at Cheshire West and Chester Council, has said that the council is 'seeking an urgent meeting' with M&S following today's announcement. 

Cllr Clarke said: “It is deeply disappointing news. Our immediate concerns are with staff that will be affected, and the Council will be doing everything it can to offer support to those who may be faced with redundancy.

“We recognise that the current retail environment for town centre high streets remains difficult. However, the news is particularly disappointing as other stores that have opened recently in Northwich are trading well, and in the case of The Entertainer toy store, significantly outperforming targets.

“We are seeking an urgent meeting with senior representatives from M&S to try to establish whether there is any possibility that by working together we can retain the presence of this important retailer in the town.”