Tuesday, January 29, 2019

News: Rotherham MP dismayed at M&S plans


Local MP John Healey says plans by Marks & Spencer to close its store at Parkgate Shopping are a big blow to the town.

Earlier this month the national retailer announced plans to close a further 17 more stores with the loss of 1,000 jobs - including its Rotherham store at Parkgate.

The move is part of plans to close over 100 stores in total by 2022 in order to "radically reshape M&S's Clothing & Home space" alongside relocations, conversions, downsizes and the introduction of concessions.

Detailing transformation plans last year, M&S bosses said that its plan for a "store estate in a multi-channel world" would include evaluating stores based cash payback and internal rate of return (IRR) - ie. profitability. They added that the future estate would be based on stronger store economics with lower rent and payroll as a percent of sales.

The Wentworth and Dearne MP said that a large number of people have been in touch with his office to raise their concerns over the decision.


In a letter to M&S CEO, Steve Rowe, John said: "Many in my constituency shop and work at the store and the recently announced closure plans came as a shock to your committed workers and customers.

"This is a big blow to the town as M&S is an anchor store for Parkgate just as it was in central Rotherham and it will be sad to see the name of Marks and Spencer disappear from the town for the first time in 125 years.

"I too am dismayed by this decision, 79 people now face relocation or redundancy, and this is part of a pattern across the country. I don't want to see Parkgate start to struggle like our town centre has over the last decade.

"I write therefore to urge you to reconsider this closure so the historic name of Marks & Spencer can remain in a town that has been associated with the company since 1894."

The historic retailer made the decision to relocate its store on College Street in Rotherham town centre to Parkgate Shopping in the early 2000's. It opened a Simply Food store at Cortonwood in Rotherham in 2017.

Marks & Spencer website

Images: M&S


Anonymous,  January 29, 2019 at 4:25 PM  

Is anyone really surprised that the Rotherham branch is closing, M&S is struggling in more affluent areas than Rotherham? The food section is being overtaken by Waitrose Aldi is now becoming a classless shop as professionals feel no shame in trying to save money. The clothes section is finished no matter how many new managers try to relaunch it.

M Benson,  January 29, 2019 at 5:30 PM  

Rotherham has its problems - including in retailing - but in this case the problem seems to be in the business planning processes of M & S Directors and management. It should be noted that the former have apparently taken £28m in salaries and bonuses over the last 4 years - despite their having presided over a declining business. That is not a justifiable scenario and certainly not one to engender confidence in the current decision making process.

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