Following the disappointing announcement last week that the Marks and Spencer store in the Kingfisher Centre is to close, yesterday (February 6th) Rachel met with company bosses to press the case for an M&S food store to be retained.

Rachel was also joined by management from the Kingfisher in a bid to get M&S to reconsider their decision due to the implications the closure will have on Redditch’s town centre.

Bosses from M&S explained that, like many retailers, the growth in online shopping has had an impact on the viability of their town centre offering.

Kingfisher representatives suggested alternative spaces within the centre for M&S to relocate to and pointed to the fact that the shopping centre is seeing an increase in footfall, despite moving trends to shop online.

However, bosses from M&S were unable to give any reassurances or guarantees, but confirmed discussions are still ongoing.

Rachel said: “Like many residents, I was very disappointed to hear about Marks and Spencer decision to pull out of our town centre.

“The Kingfisher is the beating heart of our town centre which is why it is even more of a shame that a major national retailer is leaving our town because the brand has significance over and above just being a clothing and food store.

“That’s why, after hearing the news, I acted quickly to set-up this meeting with M&S and the Kingfisher in a bid to get the company to reconsider their decision. I believe there is great scope for M&S to retain a food hall in the Kingfisher.

“Most importantly though, at the meeting I sought assurances about the relocation of staff and the status of their jobs. I will keep in touch with M&S to monitor the situation.”