M&S chiefs confirm Sudbury closure

MARKS and Spencer has confirmed its planned closure of the Sudbury Simply Food store following a month of talks with staff and the local community.

James Mortlock

MARKS and Spencer has confirmed its planned closure of the Sudbury Simply Food store following a month of talks with staff and the local community.

A spokesman for the chain store announced that in the wake of a “full and thorough” consultation process it had it has reached an agreement with its employee representative group (BIG) to progress with the proposed closure of the North Street shop next month.

In the wake of the grim news for Sudbury, which follows the closure of the town's Woolworths store nearby, the firm will be entering into individual consultation with staff at the store to discuss the implications of this decision for them personally and to explore redeployment opportunities. Where redeployment is not available, employees will be made redundant and offered appropriate help from M&S to find alternative employment in the local area.

Steve Rowe, director of retail at M&S, said: “We have consulted fully with staff at the Sudbury Simply Food store, listening carefully to both their views and suggestions, as well as those of the local community. All issues raised throughout the process were fully considered, but as no proposed alternatives to the store closure have been found to be commercially viable, it was necessary to make this difficult decision.

“I would like to thank the team at Sudbury Simply Food for the professional way in which they have handled this process and for their patience as we enter into individual consultation. We will explore all possible redeployment opportunities and remain committed to avoiding redundancies wherever possible.”

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The Sudbury Simply Food store's last trading day will be 12th March. During the last week of trading the store will continue to sell all major product lines, though in order to limit wastage, stock will be wound down gradually, particularly on chilled lines.