A week after the announcement by Marks & Spencer of their proposed closure of the store in Sutton Coldfield town centre, Andrew Mitchell MP has met with a Senior Executive, Tony Ginty, from M&S to discuss the proposal. .
In a constructive meeting, the M&S representative explained why this proposal had been made, as part of M&S’s plans to reshape its UK store estate offering better, digitally enabled stores. . Mr Ginty also outlined what factors M&S took into consideration when making this proposal specifically sales performance, profitability, investment needs and other property related matters. Mr Ginty reiterated that support is being given to the 96 employees as part of the current consultation process. As with all stores he explained M&S will be working to offer redeployment, but where a colleague reasonably turns down a redeployment offer a redundancy package will be available.
Andrew Mitchell urged M&S to consider other units in the town centre, highlighting that with new housing and wider infrastructure development plans to radically transform the Royal Town’s high street, customer numbers and footfall are likely to increase. At the request of Andrew, Mr Ginty has agreed to meet with the Leader of the Royal Sutton Coldfield Town Council, Cllr Simon Ward, who is leading the way on town centre regeneration plans, to discuss the Royal Town’s plans for the future. Cllr Ward has expressed his concern at the loss of such an important store and how the Town Council is working to have a “community led regeneration of our Town Centre”.
Following the meeting Andrew Mitchell said “while it is wrong to think that M&S existing proposals to close the town centre store will be reversed, they are committed to keeping an open mind considering the development plans for the future”.