Labour’s Coun Claire Edwards agreed with other political officials, adding her concern that the closure would take place during Rugby’s World Cup festival, and urging the store to at least delay the closure until after Christmas. It was thought that the desire for a Simply M&S food store in the town centre, with more houses and nursing homes being built in the town centre, would maintain demand.
But the closure of the old store, which has traded since 1937, is a blow to town centre shoppers and politicians who opposed the move when first announced a year ago.
But the store confirmed it will end its 78-year presence in Rugby town centre when its High Street store closes on the previous day – disappointing shoppers and campaigners who wanted it to remain open or be replaced by a new M&S Food Only store.
Good news for Jobs: The new 42,000 sq ft store – triple the size of the existing store – will bring more than 90 new jobs to the area.
Store Manager Charlotte Hayes, said: “We have been able to recruit a large number of people from the immediate area, and some of our new employees are already in training. All employees currently working at the existing store have been offered a role at the new store.”
A selection of the 90 new employees will be recruited through M&S’ Marks & Start programme, which aims to give confidence and skills to those who face barriers into work.