Yesterday I visited Marks and Spencer to talk to the Manager, members of staff and some of the shoppers.
I was told of the Company’s consultation about possible closure. I understand employees have not yet been offered jobs in nearby Marks stores, as the closure is still under consideration.
The shoppers I met were pleased with the store and keen to see it stay open. There were plenty of people in it on a Friday morning. The Company will not share its trading figures for the store. It is possible in the weeks during the demolition of the central area of Wokingham between Peach Street and Rose Street and the construction of new shops there will be some adverse short term impact on town centre footfall. It is highly likely that as soon as the new shops are available more people will come to the town centre to shop, have a coffee or have a meal.
I will let you know the Company’s response and my follow up. I will stress the support for the shop from many Wokingham town centre regulars.