M&S has today revealed that its Fareham store could close with the loss of 58 jobs.
The proposed closure is part of M&S’s programme to modernise its business ‘to better meet the changing needs of customers’. It says it hopes to keep staff in other stores in the area.
The firm’s director of retail Sacha Berendji said: ‘We’re committed to transforming M&S for our customers, colleagues and shareholders.
‘Stores will always be an integral part of our customer experience, alongside M&S.com, but we have to ensure we have the right offer in the right locations.
‘We don’t want any colleagues to leave M&S and we will work with each colleague individually on what is best for them as we endeavour to give everyone a role. However, we accept in some cases we may have to consider redundancy.
‘We believe these changes are vital for the future of M&S and we will continue to accelerate the programme, taking tough but necessary decisions, as we focus on making M&S special.’
Including Fareham, M&S has today proposed eight stores for closure, with others at Andover, Basildon, Bridlington in Yorkshire, Denton and Stockport in Manchester, Falmouth in Cornwall and Keighley in West Yorkshire.
Fareham Borough Council leader Sean Woodward tweeted that he was ‘very sad’ to hear about the store closing.
The closure was announced last year of the Commercial Road store in Portsmouth.
Gordon Scott, head of region for home counties south, said: ‘Proposing to close the Fareham store has been a difficult but necessary decision. Over the coming weeks we’ll be talking to each colleague individually about what is right for them and we’ll update customers and the community as soon as we can.’
M&S still has stores in Whiteley, Gunwharf Quays, Havant and Hedge End and is due to open a food hall at Ocean Retail Park in Burrfields Road, Portsmouth in the next few months.
In total it has 1,025 stores – 302 clothing, home and food, 684 food-only and 39 outlets.