New closing date for Banbury town centre M&S announced

A new closing date has been announced for the Marks and Spencer branch in Banbury's Castle Quay in the town centre.

Friday, 24th July 2020, 12:56 pm
Marks & Spencer in Banbury town centre set to close next month.

Officials with Marks and Spencer corporate confirmed the store will permanently close next month on Saturday August 8.

The Bridge Street Marks and Spencer food and clothing store was originally due to close on Saturday, April 18. But the store decided to stay open longer to help people during coronavirus outbreak.

Banbury will still have a M&S store at the Gateway Retail Park alongside the M40, but this will be out of the town centre and is not as easily accessible by public transport as the Bridge Street store.

Sign up to our daily Banbury Guardian Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The store was the first major store to come to the Castle Shopping Centre, which was later extended to become Castle Quay, when Debenhams arrived in town.

Reaction to the store's closure has been one of universal shock and despair with one Banbury resident setting up a change.org petition to persuade M&S to keep it open.

More than 2,600 people have signed it to date. To view and or sign the petition see the following web link: https://www.change.org/p/marks-spencer-save-m-s-in-banbury-town-centre

Banbury's elderly community have been particularly upset by the announcement of its closure as it is the only centrally located food store accessible by a large number of pensioners, with alternatives too far to walk for many.

It has been a town centre mainstay since 1982, opening in November of that year.

John Turner, the M&S head of region for central, said: “Today we have updated colleagues in M&S Banbury that the store will close permanently on August 8.

"We delayed closing earlier this year so that the local community could access their food essentials during lockdown, but it is now time for us to move forward with the closure as planned.

"Shopping habits are changing, so we’re reshaping our store estate so it is fit for the future and closing the store in the Castle Quay shopping centre is a difficult but necessary part of these changes.

"We remain committed to local customers and will continue to serve them from marksandspencer.com and other stores in the area, including M&S Banbury Gateway Shopping Park.”

Cllr Barry Wood, leader of Cherwell District Council, said: “While we are sorry that Marks & Spencer will be leaving, the closure of the store gives us a chance to re-purpose the space to continue to attract exciting new brands to Banbury for the community and visitors alike.”