Final hours of trading at Northampton town centre's M&S store
Northampton's town centre's M&S store is hours away from closing as part of major a restructure by the high street retailer.
The Abington Street store is due to shut its doors for the final time at 6pm today, Saturday August 11.
The company listed the outlet as one of 14 sites it had shortlisted for closure back in May.
Consultations have been ongoing with the 96 staff at the outlet since then and over the past few weeks stock has been gradually shipped out to other outlets.
The move leaves Northampton with large town centre retail unit vacant for the foreseeable future.
The Chron's big high street survey published last month found that most of our readers would like to see M&S replaced with another large retail unit.
But Councillor Danielle Stone, (Lab, Castle) whose ward covers the town centre, said: "I think looking for an anchor store to replace this has to be a thing of the past now.
"We need to look elsewhere for out retail.
"We need to be encouraging small businesses to set up here.
"We need to capitalise on the assets we have got, such as our fashion and boutique shops.
"We need to be encouraging our creative students to stay and invest in the town."
Retail, operations and property director at the company, Sacha Berendji, said: “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.”