CONFIRMED: Macclesfield Marks & Spencer to leave high street and relocate

  Posted: 14.09.21 at 18:13 by Alexander Greensmith

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Macclesfield Nub News is sad to report that the Mill Street Marks & Spencer will close.

A new M&S Foodhall is to open in a new £13m retail park on the former Barracks Mill site, near the Silk Road in Macclesfield.

It provides customers with a modern, new-look M&S Foodhall that is almost double the size of the current M&S food offer in Macclesfield.

As part of this development, the chain will close their store at 33 Mill Street. However, this store will remain open until the new store is completed.

Hypothetically, no jobs have to be lost. As there will be opportunities for staff at the old store to move to the new store.

But as clothing will not be at the new Marks & Spencer store, non-food staff, along with food staff if they so wish, can also get the opportunity to move to other stores nearby.

The Macclesfield Mill Street store will be replaced with a bigger, food-only store away from the high street.

With the removal of Marks and Spencer clothing and home stock in Macclesfield, the nearest non-food-centric M&S store is in Handforth Dean.

It is part of a huge shifting sands for the 137-year-old company.

Three years ago M&S said it would shut or relocate 110 main stores.

However, a further 90 closures have since been announced.

But with the store being bigger and better, along with claims of no jobs lost, it is not all bad news for Macc.

Handforth Marks and Spencer will be the nearest M&S fashion store to Macclesfield when the Mill Street store shuts.

Simon Layton, Regional Manager for M&S, said this to Macclesfield Nub News:

“We’re excited to be opening a brand-new M&S Foodhall in the Barracks Mill retail park development in Macclesfield, which will offer local customers 40% more Foodhall space than our current store.

"The new store will be ready to open in Winter 2022/23.

“Shopping habits are changing, so we’re reshaping our store estate to make sure it’s fit for the future, meeting the needs of customers today – and those of tomorrow. This means in line with our Foodhall expansion, our existing store at 33 Mill Street will close once the development is complete.

"We appreciate this will be disappointing news for some, but we believe this is the right decision to ensure the best possible offer for customers in Macclesfield.

Macclesfield's MP of 11 years has expressed disappointment at the move, and wants action to quickly replace the crowd-pulling store on Macc's high street.

"We will keep the community updated as the works progress.”

It is currently unknown if any extra jobs will be created from the new Barracks Mill M&S Simply Food, located on the under construction site at Black Lane.

Despite the derelict 78,000 sq. ft. Barracks Mill site being filled, there has been opposition to the relocation.

Macclesfield MP David Rutley said: "It's very disappointing for Macclesfield town centre to learn that M&S will be closing its store on Mill Street and moving its operations to the Barracks Mill site during the winter of 2022/23."

"The store is much-valued by its customers and plays a well-recognised role in attracting shoppers to our high street.

"That's why it is vital that Cheshire East Council now actively works with interested parties to find alternative retail and leisure-led uses for the location, so that this important site does not fall vacant and continues to help drive town centre footfall.

"I have been in contact with Marks and Spencer to find out more about the support that will be provided to the current members of staff."

The opening times of Macclesfield Marks and Spencer will be unaffected, despite the winding down of the store.

Yorkshire builders Stainforth Construction are redeveloping the site on Barracks Mill - abandoned since 2004 - where the new M&S Simply Food will be. (Image - Stainforth Construction)

David Rutley has served as our town's MP since 2010.

The Conservative MP added: "The pandemic’s impact highlighted the need to support local retail and hospitality businesses and M&S's decision now underscores the need to take urgent action to revitalise Macclesfield town centre."

"I would urge Cheshire East Council to accelerate the development of its regeneration projects for Macclesfield, so that the £5 million allocated for this task can be drawn upon and utilised as soon as possible.

"This will help offset the impact of this latest news and help make Macclesfield more responsive to the latest consumer trends.

"We need to build on the work of the Macclesfield Town Centre Recovery Working Group and address these challenges with greater pace.

"I will go on working with Cheshire East Council, local stakeholders and businesses in this vital task."

In addition to M&S, the Barracks Mill retail units will be occupied by Aldi, B&M, Costa.

Other vacant spots on the site are to be filled and revealed.

It is presumed an M&S Café will feature at the new Macclesfield Simply Food M&S store, but clothing and home products will not.

It is currently unknown if the existing three other stores mentioned above will close their town centre premises as well.

Macclesfield Nub News has contacted Aldi, B&M, and Costa for comment.

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