‘No surprise’ - Bristol city leaders react to planned M&S closure
‘It should be a wake-up call to all of us’
City leaders in Bristol have reacted to the announcement by M&S that it plans to close its Broadmead store.
The high street chain cited a change in shoppers habits for a proposal to close the shop, which opened in 1952.
The store could close as early as January, and would follow the shutting of Debenhams in May.
Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees said: “I’m sad to see Marks and Spencer decide to leave Broadmead and end almost seventy years of association with the city centre.
“Whilst this closure is a blow to our already struggling high streets, it is not a surprise. Significant challenges in the national economy are seeing flagship department stores close across the country.
“Connected to this is a shift in shopping habits, exacerbated by the pandemic, which has taken shoppers away from the high street and onto online stores.”
Meanwhile, Bristol West MP, Thangam Debbonaire, said closure of the store would be “a sad moment for Bristol”.
She added: “It should be a wake-up call to all of us that our city centres need our support if we want them to continue to be lively, safe and welcoming for locals and visitors.
“Our shopping and social habits have changed a lot, so the city centre is changing too. I know Bristol’s natural creativity will help us with these changes. I’ll work with others to help achieve this.
Metro Mayor Dan Norris said: “For most of us, Marks and Spencer in Broadmead has been a Bristol fixture all of our lives.
“This is a real blow to a shopping centre that is at the heart of the community, and many people across the city and beyond will feel a sense of loss at this genuinely sad news.
“Importantly, I hope and expect Marks and Spencer will be working with their staff and their trade unions to support all workers who are affected.”