Marks and Spencer announces plans to shut Hull’s Whitefriargate store

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 15 Jan 2019

M&S has today announced it is consulting with staff at it prepares to close its Hull city centre store.

In total, 93 workers have been told the company wants to close the Whitefriargate store as part of M&S’s programme to "reshape its UK store estate."

All staff will now enter a consultation period in what the company describes as an “incredibly difficult decision.”

It comes after the high street giant last year announced it would close around 30 of its large clothing and home stores over the next five years as it focuses on food. Another 45 will be downsized or replaced with Simply Food outlets.

M&S Foodhall (Katie Pugh)

The city centre shop is the last M&S store in Hull and the East Riding, with only foodhalls open in Anlaby, Kingswood and Beverley.

The closure would mean the nearest "full-line" store to Hull city centre is Scunthorpe, some 26 miles away.

Rebecca Newby, M&S head of region for North Yorkshire, said: “Proposing to close M&S Hull is an incredibly difficult decision, but a necessary one.

“Over the coming weeks we’ll be making sure our colleagues are fully supported and will be speaking to everyone individually."

Read more: Hull's retail crisis: The staggering number of empty shops gathering dust in the city centre

A spokeswoman for M&S said the city centre store opened before 1900. Today's news comes after the Bridlington store closed in April last year which was described by shoppers as a "very sad day for the town."

Shoppers have been told if the store closure goes ahead, they can order clothes online and use the click and collect service instead.

Ms Newby added: “Should the proposal go ahead, we remain committed to serving customers in the region from our Simply Food stores in Kingswood and Anlaby Retail Park.

Bridlington's M&S store (Katie Pugh)

"From these stores we’ll continue to offer M&S Clothing & Home products via our Click & Collect service on M&”

The announcement will come as a huge blow for Whitefriargate. The M&S store is a lynchpin on the struggling high street, and a closure will no doubt leave a question mark over the streets future.

Read more: Debenhams' future remains perilous as Christmas sales tumble

Stores including Kapow, Pound World, Bon Marche and Grainger Games have all recently left Whitefriargate.

HMV currently remains open, but the company is in administration. The Ann summers shop also recently moved from Whitefriargateto Jameson Street and HSBC bank closed in 2017.

Other stores in Yorkshire proposed for closure include Huddersfield and Rotherham.

Nearby stores to M&S Hull include:

  • M&S Anlaby Hull Foodhall (4.9 miles, 11 mins away)
  • M&S Kingswood Hull Foodhall (5.7 miles, 19 mins away)
  • M&S Beverley Foodhall (10.7 miles, 24 mins away)

All of these stores offer a free next-day Click & Collect service for customers who purchase online at  M&

Other stores listed for closure include:

Store Name M&S Region Area
Ashford South East Kent
Barrow Lancashire & Cumbria Cumbria
Bedford East Anglia Bedfordshire

South Yorks & East Midlands

Buxton Manchester, Cheshire & Staffordshire Derbyshire
Cwmbran South Wales & West Monmouthshire
Deal South East Kent
Felixstowe East Anglia Suffolk
Huddersfield South Yorks & East Midlands West Yorkshire
Hull North Yorkshire Yorkshire
Junction One Antrim Outlet Northern Ireland Antrim
Luton Arndale Home Counties North Bedfordshire
Newark South Yorks & East Midlands Nottinghamshire
Northwich Merseyside, North Wales & IOM Cheshire
Rotherham South Yorks & East Midlands South Yorkshire
Sutton Coldfield West Midlands West Midlands
Weston Super Mare

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