We mustn't let M&S go thesame way as Woolworths

Ant & DecAnt & Dec
Ant & Dec
I was a bit sad to hear the news that Marks & Spencer was looking at closing some stores in our area.

In a reorganisation of the business, some stores could shut and others will focus on food.

Two stores in Fareham are listed, which I imagine are the one at Fareham Shopping Centre and the one at Whiteley.

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Surely we can’t let M&S go the same way as Woolworths and BHS, can we?

It’s a stalwart of the British high street and very much part of our national way of life.

It’s hard to think that it’s only been since 2000 that M&S has accepted debit cards.

It didn’t start television advertising until 1995. Its reputation really was that strong.

So what’s going wrong?

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I’ve always loved M&S and I started shopping there in my 20s.

I felt I got better quality and style for my money, compared with the likes of River Island and H&M.

I’d actually look forward to an afternoon wandering around the Hedge End store, having lunch, buying clothes and items for the home.

As I’ve got older, it seems the M&S style has too.

I also find that its clothes don’t fit me as well as they used to.

I don’t seem to have any such issues with Next or Fat Face.

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When it comes to food though, M&S is still number one when it comes to quality and value for money in my mind.

Those ‘dine for £10’ deals are fabulous and you really do feel like you are being slightly decadent when you shop for your food at M&S.

Maybe this is the way the new man in charge, Steve Rowe, sees the business going.

The smaller stores, such as Fareham, will focus more on food.

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A friend of mine summed up clothes shopping in a way which I’d easily understand.

When you’re young and listen to Radio 1 or Capital, you shop at H&M, River Island, Topshop etc.

It’s when you start finding yourself preferring the clothes at M&S or Next that you know you are ready for Radio 2 and Wave 105!


Sunday nights have turned into a televisual treat for us in the Jackson household.

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We get the kids settled in bed for 7pm, light the fire and pour a glass of wine as we cosy up for some top entertainment.

First, Strictly Come Dancing – The Results.

It’s the first time I’ve ever voted for Ed Balls!

Then it’s the remarkable Sir David Attenborough with Planet Earth II.

Those poor baby iguanas running for their lives, trying to escape the snakes, certainly beats watching the Grand National.

Then it’s Ant & Dec back for more cruelty on I’m A Celebrity...

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I think my wife said precisely five words to me all evening.

They were ‘get me a top-up’!


I must congratulate The News on the wonderful new archive supplement Retro that appears every Saturday.

Many people are interested in the history of the Portsmouth area and how life used to be.

It’s incredible to see how much the area has changed, even in the past 40 years.

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I think the best job at the newspaper is searching through history and picking out fascinating stories and photographs of our past.

It was incredible looking back at 1972, with the construction of the Queen Alexandra hospital, Norman Piper aiming for goal at Fratton Park, the Tricorn Club and snow on Portsdown Hill.

All in the days before the M27, local radio and the internet. Can’t wait for 1973 this week!