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Marks & Spencer store in Denton earmarked for closure
Wednesday 31st January 2018 @ 10:14 by Tom Greggan
Denton & Audenshaw News Tameside

Marks & Spencer has today announced it is proposing to close its Outlet store at Crown Point North Retail Park in Denton.

The proposed closure is part of M&S’s programme to modernise its UK store estate to better meet the changing needs of customers.

Six M&S stores across the country have been confirmed for closure by the end of April, while the future of a further eight stores, including Denton and Stockport, is up in the air.

Andrew Scanlan, Head of Region for Greater Manchester, said: “Proposing to close Denton Outlet has been a difficult but necessary decision. We have a fantastic team in Denton and 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.”

The next nearest store to Denton is the branch at Ashton Moss, which sells clothing and food, while there are three branches in Manchester city centre and one in Hazel Grove.

All of these stores offer Click & Collect for customers who purchase online at M&, as three quarters of M& orders are now collected in a store.

Sacha Berendji, Director of Retail at Marks & Spencer, 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&, 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.”

Denton MP Andrew Gwynne voiced his concern for the staff at the store, saying: “I’m disappointed by the announcement by M&S today about the possible closure of their Denton and Stockport stores.

“Clearly my main concern is ensuring the staff at both stores are given employment opportunities within nearby M&S outlets.

“I will also be in urgent conversation with British Land, the owners of Crown Point Shopping Park in Denton, and with the management at Merseyway in Stockport to find out what plans they have to find alternative quality retailers to fill these key void properties should the closures happen.”

Shopworkers’ trade union Usdaw has called on Marks and Spencer to immediately open up a dialogue with the union to ensure staff are properly represented, with the 14 closures nationally affecting 468 staff.

David Gill, Usdaw National Officer says: “Staff in all M&S stores were extremely concerned about what the future holds when the company announced a wide-ranging store reorganisation in November 2016, that will affect around 100 shops over a five year period, involving 60 store closures.

“At the time they did not say where the axe will fall by detailing which stores are set to close. Today we’ve seen a further 14 announced, which is devastating news for the staff in those stores and the uncertainty continues for everyone else. This salami slicing approach to reorganising the business is extremely distressing for the staff.

“Usdaw has thousands of members working for Marks and Spencer and the staff now need, more than ever, the representation and support of an independent trade union. We again urge M&S management to abandon their long-held resistance to recognising Usdaw as the union to represent its staff.

He continued: “At this time of great uncertainty, staff need to be assured that an experienced and knowledgeable trade union is interrogating the company’s business case for this store reorganisation. Given the opportunity Usdaw would ensure that all avenues to save jobs are explored and staff are treated with dignity, fairness and respect.

“We are providing our members with the support and representation they require throughout this difficult time.”