Marks and Spencer Broadmead: Empty shelves and queues at the till as shoppers rush in for final time ahead of closure
Marks and Spencer in Broadmead opened in 1952, but will close for the final time tomorrow (January
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Shoppers paid a visit to Marks and Spencer’s Broadmead store for the final time today, with the shop shutting down tomorrow (January 8).
The high street chain opened the store all the way back in 1952 and it has been a prominent feature of the city centre over the decades.
It has been a shopping destination for generations of families searching for everything from clothes to food to homewares, and a reason for many to come to Broadmead.
But the shop will close tomorrow due to a transformation of the company’s estate, influenced by a change in shopping habits.
And today, many shoppers visited to the store for a final look around today - although many will have been left disappointed, with floors closed and shelves already empty.
As they walk in, a sign tells them that the first and second floor, including the cafe and toilets, are closed.
It says menswear, lingerie and kidswear have joined all other items on the ground floor.
And those hoping to pick out some chilled food will also be left put out with covers down over some of the shelves.
The aisleways already seem closed.
But this has not stopped many people coming in for a last gander, and a change to buy an item from the store with a large queue for the tills seen inside.
There is no official closing down sale advertised, but only a continuation of the New Year sales.
Asked when the shop will close tomorrow, a worker said ‘when we run out of everything’.
It will ropen for the final time at 9am tomorrow.
In a statement released back in October, John Dorrington, Marks and Spencer regional manager, accepted the closure was disappointing for shoppers, but said it was a move to ensure the company had the ‘right stores to offer our customers a brilliant shopping experience’.
Almost 90 staff work at the store.
The nearest Marks and Spencer stores from the city centre after Broadmead are at Cribbs Causeway and Longwell Green. There is also a food store at Avonmeads.
Mr Dorrington said: “We appreciate that this will be disappointing news for some, and we would like to thank all our customers who have shopped with us in the store.”
The closure has caused concern to city leaders, especially following the closure of the nearby Debenhams, which has been empty since May.
Mayor Marvin Rees said the closure of M&S was ‘not a surprise’, adding it highlighted the challenges faced by flagship department stores across the country
However, there is hope the city centre can bounce back from business leaders in the city centre, meanwhile while a preferred bidder is continuing talks over a takeover of Debenhams.