Marks and Spencer to close two UK stores in ‘major blow’ to locals


Marks and Spencer is the latest retailer to confirm store closures in two UK locations.

The British brand has 1,057 branches spread across England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, though recently announced plans to close dozens of them for good.

Some sites have already shut down since the announcement was made last year, though Aberdeen and Sunderland are next on the list.

Marks and Spencer confirmed that its sites on High Street West, Sunderland, and St Nicholas Street, Aberdeen, will cease trading.

The Aberdeen department store on St Nicholas Street has been open since 1944 but has been earmarked for closure in 2025.

It comes as part of £15million plans to open an expanded M&S store in the city’s Union Square shopping centre, which is on track to be completed in spring 2025.

The spot in the shopping centre is currently occupied by TK Maxx, but with new upgrades, the site will be double the size and the fourth largest M&S in Scotland.

Rachel Rankine, North East Regional Manager for M&S, said: “The scale of our investment is a vote of confidence in the future of retail in Aberdeen city centre, with a flagship store on the same scale as city centre stores in Birmingham and Liverpool.

“Where we have already invested in new formats, our customers have responded to the destination shopping experience and Aberdeen shoppers can look forward to having a bigger, better, fresher food hall and the best in M&S clothing and home.”

Despite news of a fresh branch taking its place, fans of the existing “flagship” Aberdeen store have mourned its loss.

One person took to X, formerly Twitter to say: “Marks & Spencer are closing St Nicolas Street. John Lewis closed George Street. The department store concept is obsolete these store locations will never be occupied. Knock them down and build affordable housing rejuvenating the area as shops open to service the inhabitants.”

Another described the closure as “another major blow to revival hopes for Aberdeen city centre”.

Meanwhile, an exact date for the potential closure of the Sunderland store on High Street West is yet to be confirmed.

Philip Barker-Thomson, M&S regional manager, explained: “Shopping habits are changing, so we’re rotating our store estate to make sure we have the right stores to offer customers a brilliant shopping experience.

“As part of these changes, we have announced to colleagues our proposal to close our M&S Sunderland store at 77 High Street West.”

Just like Aberdeen, the branch will be replaced with a “new” and “bigger” M&S nearby in the Galleries Retail Park in Washington.

Philip reassured customers that the High Street West shop will continue trading until the replacement site is ready, adding: “Our priority now is to talk to our colleagues about what this announcement means for them.”

M&S stores that have already closed

  • East Kilbride
  • Fenchurch Street, London
  • Meadowbank Retail Park, Edinburgh)
  • Castleford
  • Bolton
  • Cardiff
  • Manchester
  • Swindon
  • Birmingham city centre
  • Barnsley town centre

Other closures and relocations are subject to consultation and haven’t yet been confirmed.

However, it has been confirmed that shops in Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Thurrock will relocate. The exact dates for these closures are also yet to be confirmed.


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