M&S to close Lisburn store in the Autumn
LEADING multinational retailer Marks and Spencer (M&S) is to close one of its stores in Northern Ireland.
The company has confirmed that its long-standing outlet at Bow Street Mall in Lisburn will shut its doors in the Autumn. The M&S Simply Food Store employs 40 people, but the company has said all staff will be redeployed to nearby locations.
In a statement, head of region for M&S in Northern Ireland, Simon Latham admitted that the decision to close had not been taken lightly.
"The decision not to renew our lease and therefore close our small food store in Bow Street Mall, Lisburn was a difficult one to make," he said.
"I understand many of our loyal customers will be disappointed and we hope to see them in our nearby Lisburn store at Sprucefield shopping complex."
Lisburn and Castelreagh City Council Mayor, Uel Mackin said he was sad to learn of the closure.
“I am sorry to hear that the store will not continue trading in Bow Street Mall, but I am glad to hear that redeployment will be offered to the store's employees, and this must be welcomed."
“The M&S Simply Food store has been in the Mall for years and I am sure it will be missed by many shoppers,” he said.
Local DUP councillor, William Leatham added that the council is now "engaged" with Bow Street Mall in respect of future plans for the site.
The Lisburn closure, scheduled for the Autumn, is likely to coincide with the opening of a new Simply Food Store at
Marlborough Retail Park in Craigavon. The new outlet at the former 80,000 sq ft B&Q site is set to create 80 jobs. M&S is set to be joined by sportswear brand O'Neill's, who have confirmed plans to open a 14,000 sq ft store at the retail park later this year.
Marks and Spencer opened the first of over 20 stores in Northern Ireland at Donegall Place, Belfast in 1967 and now employs more than 3,000 staff in the north.