Dorset

M&S Dorchester store earmarked to close amid shake-up

M&S Dorchester
Image caption M&S said 53 members of staff would be affected by its latest plan to close the Dorchester store

Marks & Spencer has named another store earmarked for closure in its reorganisation plan.

The proposed closure of the Dorchester branch on South Street, in Dorset, is part of the firm's plan to shut more than 100 stores by 2022.

The clothing, homeware and food retailer said 53 staff were affected by its latest plan and they would now be involved in a consultation process.

A total of 47 M&S stores have now shut as part of the shake-up.

In the past financial year the retailer, which has 1,043 stores, closed 35 and opened 48.

'Disastrous'

It expects to close another 85 shops and open 20 by 2024.

In May, it reported a fall in both sales and profits.

There has been an M&S store in Dorchester since 1936.

Dorchester resident Carol Haime, 55, said: "If we lose M&S, Dorchester may as well just close up because there's nothing left here for us anymore.

"It's beginning to look like a ghost town because everyone is doing online shopping."

Jacqueline Nichols, 84, from Poundbury, said it would be "disastrous" if it does go.

Of its latest proposed closure, a spokesman said: "Shopping habits are changing and we're reshaping our store estate to meet the needs of today's customer."

He added the firm's "priority" over the coming weeks would be to support the affected staff who would "have the option to redeploy within M&S".

He said customers would still be able to order products from its website and use nearby stores in Dorset, including in Weymouth and Blandford.

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