Concern over future of three Lincolnshire M&S stores

The loss of three Marks and Spencer stores in Lincolnshire could damage the wider economy, other traders have said.

The stores in Grantham, Skegness and Scunthorpe, are under review, putting about 110 posts at risk.

The firm said they had seen years of falling sales which meant they were no longer commercially viable.

But other businesses have said they feared this would make the town centres less attractive and cut the number of shoppers coming in.

Urgent meeting

The chairman of Grantham Business Club and cafe owner Alistair Hawken said losing such a big retailer could mean less people decide to shop in town.

"We trade and we thrive on people coming into the town and spending money in the bigger retailers - that is how it has always worked.

"People come in to visit Marks and Spencer, and then they might say, 'hey let's go and have a cappuccino round the corner'.

"If there is no reason for people to come into the town centre, and that need has radically altered in the past few years, then the by-product business does not exist either."

South Kesteven District Council, which covers Grantham, said it had arranged a meeting with Marks and Spencer next week to discuss the decision and see if any lesson could be learned.

The company said it had considered plans to modernise the stores but felt the long-term economic picture did not support this.

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