M&S has confirmed plans to close its Northwich store, and has no plans to keep a presence in the town.

The store in Leicester Street had been earmarked for closure pending a consultation period, which began in January.

But staff have been told this morning, Thursday, that the store will close later this year.

READ >>> MP to maintain dialogue with M&S and council chiefs

A petition to keep the store in the town had been launched immediately after the proposals to close were announced, and Weaver Vale MP Mike Amesbury met with M&S bosses over the decision in February.

The council had also put forward a proposal for M&S to occupy a smaller unit in the town.

WATCH >>> Almost 70 killed in crashes on Cheshire roads

Pete Swallow, M&S head of region, said: "Shopping habits are changing and reshaping our store estate to reflect this means making some difficult decisions.

"Over the last few months we’ve been working closely with Cheshire West and Chester Council to see if we could find an alternative location, but unfortunately this hasn’t been possible.

READ >>> Tatton MP Esther McVey to run for Tory leadership

"Our Northwich store will close this year, but we hope to see lots of customers continuing to shop with us online and at our other stores in the area, including Stockton Heath and Hale Foodhall."