Prevent the Proposed Closure of Marks & Spencers Buxton

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M&S have announced the proposed closure of the Buxton branch, much to the shock and disappointment of many locally.

It's seems to be an odd decision given the level of investment in Buxton in recent years, none more so than The Crescent development - the Grade I listed, iconic building in the town centre which is being transformed into a luxury 80 bedroom spa hotel, due to open later in 2019; this project, costing £50m+ project has received £23m from the Heritage Lottery Fund and various other investors including the local councils. The Pump Room adjacent to the Crescent will house the Crescent visitor experience as well as new Tourist Information Centre, also due to open this year.

Our high street (Spring Gardens) where M&S is situated needs M&S to stay as it is very much relied on by Buxtonians and other surrounding towns and villages in the Peak District.   The crescent development will encourage other quality retailers to invest in the town. Parents buy their school uniform from here and there is no where else locally to buy them. The footfall would significantly reduce to this area and this would then likely have a domino effect on the Spring Gardens and possibly place doubt into other retailers' minds as to whether they should be here. Closing the store will likely have a direct effect on footfall to the shopping centre and main street and other retailers are likely to see a downturn.

The level of investment in Buxton in the last 5 years have been significant:

*Buxton Museum re-opened in September 2017 following a £889,000 Heritage Lottery grant 

*Independent shopping - Buxton has seen an explosion of unique / boutique shops in just the last 2-3 years with Cavendish Shopping Arcade and Higher Buxton seeing huge change (for the better!) as well places such as The Arches Artisan Market opening

*Pavilion Gardens has just been taken over by new operators who recently revealed exciting plans to redevelop the complex - see the plans and details here: https://www.buxtonadvertiser.co.uk/news/new-market-plan-for-buxton-s-pavilion-gardens-as-council-appoint-operator-to-run-services-1-9430167

*As well as Premier Inn opening in 2015, there's been noticeable investment in the accommodation sector with new (many luxury) self catering properties appearing and traditional pubs across Buxton (again in the last 5 or so years) have seen investment moving them away from 'traditional' pubs and going down the gastro route

*Upmarket wine bars, restaurants and coffee shops have opened in Buxton in the upmarket 'West End' area around the Old Court House and Quadrant - this area is unrecognisable compared to 10 years ago

*Local community groups with support from the local MP are looking at the possibility of re-naming the train station to 'Buxton Spa', given the level of recent change in the town and the soon to be spa hotel re-opening

Given the staff are to be redeployed - this seems unrealistic given M&S Stockport store is now closed and Macclesfield is not always easy to travel to by public transport if you have no car; from November - March there is risk of heavy snow which often closes the main route to Macclesfield - our nearest M&S store (even other times in the year knowing Buxton but anyway...)

Yes running costs are high and understandably M&S Buxton is in an older building but this decision seems short sighted. M&S Buxton could be changed to be made better but moving away from clothing and perhaps keeping children's clothing and opening a more profitable departments. Someone at the top needs to listen to what the customer is saying - do what you're good at and ditch what isnt working.

But give Buxton a chance - at least until the Crescent opens this year, if M&S closes in Buxton this year, the domino effect could be far reaching and catastrophic for the town.

TimeOut just this week named Buxton in their top places to visit in the UK too! https://www.timeout.com/uk/things-to-do/best-places-to-visit-in-the-uk-2019?fbclid=IwAR1UBNqPXx16AtSBoLk0bNKRMRYGDk45bht_JEHTy4tXYbLa-6xyBnH-zPE

Help to express your support for M&S Buxton and email them at: contactus.direct@customersupport.marksandspencer.com