Petition launched to try to save Felixstowe's M&S store from closure
PUBLISHED: 08:36 17 January 2019
Campaigners have launched a petition to try to persuade Marks and Spencer not to close Felixstowe's town centre store.
M&S is consulting with 35 staff on the proposed closure of the popular Hamilton Road store, said to be one of the company’s smallest high street outlets.
But the closure decision has upset residents of the seaside town – with more than 500 taking to social media to voice their anger.
Many are urging people to write to M&S head office, while others have been questioning why the clothes section of the store is not removed and the whole premises turned into a foodhall for a year’s trial before a final decision.
The growing town is said to be in need of extra supermarket space with around 3,000 homes set to be built.
Meanwhile, an online “save it” petition has been launched and signed by more than 250 people.
Geoff Holdcroft, Suffolk Coastal’s deputy leader and cabinet member for economic development, said: “I am extremely disappointed to hear that Marks and Spencer intends to close its store in Hamilton Road, Felixstowe.
“Overall, as a town, Felixstowe is very much on the up, with record numbers of visitors coming this year and businesses investing in the area, so this bucks the positive trend in the resort.
“As a council, we will continue to work with local businesses to build a vibrant town centre for Felixstowe, including exploring through Felixstowe Forward the concept of setting up a Business Improvement District to increase the footfall in the town centre.
“I also hope that this prime site will not stand empty for long, but will be snapped up by a far-sighted new business.”
Suffolk Labour MEP Alex Mayer said: “This is devastating news for the staff and a blow to Felixstowe shoppers. M&S is one of the lynch pins of the town centre.”
Calum Telford, M&S head of region for East Anglia, said: “Proposing to close M&S Felixstowe is a very difficult decision. At this time our colleagues are our first priority and we’ll be talking to each individually about what this means for them and making sure they’re fully supported. We remain committed to serving local customers and, if the proposal goes ahead, they will be able to continue to shop for M&S Clothing & Home products from our Ipswich store and on M&S.com.”