MARKS and Spencer will shut up shop for the final time at 4pm today, Saturday, August 17.

The closure was announced earlier this year, along with 16 other M&S stores. Attempts to maintain a presence in Northwich in some form came to nothing.

The store is welcoming customers to pop in and chat to store staff on the final day.

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.

"Our Northwich store will close, 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.”

Cllr Sam Naylor, Cheshire West and Chester Council member for the town centre, says the door remains open for M&S to return to town.

He said: "As I said when the closure was announced, it's a body blow for the town.

"However, I am optimistic that companies like M&S can come back to Northwich in different models.

"The problem here has been the long-term lease on the building, but there are positive noises for a new tenant."

M&S told the Guardian earlier in the summer that it was actively marketing the building.

The shop has been in Northwich since 1908, when a Marks and Spencer Penny Bazaar opened in High Street. In 1933 a new store with a Tudor-style front was built in Witton Street, where Clinton Cards is now – with the large branch extending back to Weaver Square.

In 1992 it relocated to Leicester Street, when former occupiers Sainsbury’s moved to Venables Road.