Falkirk High Street's M&S store earmarked for closure

Marks and Spencer has just confirmed it is proposing to close its branch in Falkirk High Street.

The company said it is consulting with 90 colleagues on the proposed closure of its Falkirk store, which is part of its programme to reshape its UK store estate.

Falkirk is just one of 14 stores in the UK proposed for closure or set to close.

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Shona Lawrie, head of region for Scotland North and East for Marks and Spencer, said: “Proposing to close the Falkirk store has been a difficult decision and over the coming weeks we will be consulting with our colleagues.

“We will continue to serve the community at our surrounding local stores, including Falkirk Simply Food at the Falkirk Retail Park.”

M&S retail, operations and property director Sacha Berendji added: “Closing stores isn’t easy but it is vital for the future of M&S. Where we have closed stores, we are seeing an encouraging number of customers moving to nearby stores and enjoying shopping with us in a better environment, which is why we’re continuing to transform our estate with pace.”

Marks & Spencer is to close 100 stores by 2022 as it accelerates a transformation programme.

The company stated its branch in Stirling, which is around 11 miles away, will be remaining open at this time.

Falkirk Council leader Cecil Meiklejohn said: “The commercial decision to close the M&S store in Falkirk’s High Street is very disappointing and naturally we are concerned for the future of their store workers.

“We are keen to work with the company to see if we can offer any support in finding alternative employment. We would also want to discuss the longer term future of the site as it played such an important role in Falkirk’s High Street.

“Business rates are not set by the Council – they are set by the Regional Assessor and Scottish Government – we are required to collect business rates.”