‘Scarborough can’t lose its M&S store’

Marks & Spencer store in Scarborough

Marks & Spencer store in Scarborough

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A council official has said it would be a “huge loss to Scarborough” if its Marks & Spencer store was to close due to a huge drop in company profits.

The retailer said that around 60 clothing and home stores will go so that it can focus on food, meaning Scarborough’s Newborough store could be at risk.

It comes as Marks & Spencer announced an 18.6 per cent plunge in underlying half-year profits to £231.3 million while bottom-line profits crashed 88.4 per cent to 
£25.1 million.

Nick Taylor, Scarborough Council’s investment manager, believes Marks & Spencer is a fundamental part of Scarborough’s town centre.

He said: “I moved here around 30 years ago and I was surprised to see such a big national retailer in a small seaside town. It was actually the final piece of the jigsaw in me moving here. People are moving in to online shopping and it is a shame to see a big retailer closing down stores. It would be a huge loss to the town to lose its Marks & Spencer.

“It is a big employer with very friendly and attentive staff during my visits and it is vital it stays in Scarborough.”

M&S said it will close around 30 of its 304 full-line stores – selling clothing and home as well as food – and downsize or replace around 45 shops to Simply Food outlets.

It will also relocate some other outlets, while opening other stores in so-called 
under-served areas.

The site of the Scarborough store was where Edward Harland was born in 1831.He later went on to become a shipbuilder and the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast made the Titanic.