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POLL: Ilford Marks and Spencer to downsize, will you still shop in The Exchange?

PUBLISHED: 11:06 04 March 2015 | UPDATED: 11:06 04 March 2015

Marks and Spencer

Marks and Spencer

PA Wire/Press Association Images

The section of the store containing the cafe, menswear and childrenswear set to close.

Marks and Spencer has announced it is downsizing its store in Ilford High Road, with the cafe and bureau de change closing completely.

The shop is split into two parts, located either side of the entrance to The Exchange shopping centre.

The section containing menswear, childrenswear and the cafe will shut completely.

Menswear, childrenswear, and the M&S.com collection point will be incorporated into the other part of the store, which contains womenswear and the food hall.

The building work will be carried out from April to late July, with the store remaining open throughout.

A spokeswoman from the retailer said there would be no job losses.

“This is a significant investment into M&S Ilford and will create a high street store that is fit for the future,” she said.

“This investment demonstrates M&S’s commitment to Ilford and its customers.”

A spokeswoman for The Exchange said it was “understandable from a retail operational point of view” that M&S decided to trade from one store.

But some shoppers have said they are dismayed at the news and would think twice about coming into the town centre in future.

Harvey Sharpe, 66, from Barkingside, said: “The first thing my daughter said to me when she heard the news was there is now no reason to go into Ilford.”

Mr Sharpe added: “It is where everyone meets in the community and it is a great shame that it should go.”

Chris Stone, from Dagenham, said: “We always use the cafe so it would definitely stop us from shopping here.”

Geoff Hill, chairman of the Redbridge Chamber of Commerce, thought trade in Ilford town centre would be affected.

He said: “I do not think this is a good way to consolidate because there will be less people being enticed into the Exchange.”

Mr Hill added: “Most times properties make changes like this, their rent is up for review.”

Rai Holdstock, chairman of Ilford Business Improvement District, disagreed, “I do not think this will have too much of an adverse effect as there are many places in Ilford town centre to get foreign currency and plenty of places to eat.”

He continued: “I am reassured that the brand is remaining in the town.”

What do you think of M&S closing its cafe? Will you still shop in The Exchange?

Vote in our poll.

Call our news desk on 0208 477 3825 or email ralph.blackburn@archant.co.uk.


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