Marks & Spencer has proposed the closure of its longstanding Dorchester store as part of its restructuring plans, which involve the closure of more than 100 stores by 2022.
The store has been located in the Dorset town since 1936 and the company has said customers would be able to shop its products online or at Marks & Spencer stores in the nearby towns of Weymouth and Blandford should the proposal get the green light.
“Shopping habits are changing so we’re transforming our store estate to meet the needs of today’s customers. Proposing to close our Dorchester store is a difficult but necessary part of reshaping our estate to have fewer, but more inspirational stores. Over the coming weeks our priority will be supporting our great team of colleagues at Dorchester as we discuss what’s best for them,” said M&S head of region for Wessex Aaron Spicer.
“We remain committed to local customers and, if the proposal goes ahead, we will continue to serve them from our website and other stores in the area, including M&S Weymouth and our Foodhall in Blandford Forum, where customers can also pick up Clothing & Home products in store via Click & Collect,” he added.
The store employs 53 staff who are now in consultation with the company. Since M&S announced its store closure programme at the end of 2016 it has closed 47 stores.
In the past financial year, M&S has closed 35 stores and opened 48, and now expects to close a further 85 shops and open 20 by 2024.