IT is now almost three months since our beloved Marks and Spencer closed its doors.
It was therefore with a wry smile that I now read that sales at Marks and Spencer are down seven per cent in the first three months of this year. Of course, the current financial climate is largely blamed but I wonder.
I could never understand why our local store was not financially viable. Obviously, I do not know the financial outgoings but a lot of people went through their doors and spent money.
I know the store was small in comparison and parking was an issue but the people of Grantham wanted it and the community needed it. However, Marks and Spencer seemded to care more for the shareholders rather than the customers. I know from comments made on the internet that other small, long-standing stores have recently closed, Nuneaton for example that had been in the town for 70 years.
It seems to me that Marks and Spencer look at a store in isolation and do not see the big picture. From feedback, it seems that closing a local store is a deterrent to shopping with Marks and Spencer full stop.
A lot of people now will not buy items from Marks and Spencer in say Nottingham, knowing that if there is a problem with them, they will have to traipse all the way back to Nottingham to sort it out, whereas before they could pop into the Grantham branch. The same applies when buying items online from Marks and Spencer. Any problems and the item has to be returned by post and most folk don’t like the hassle. I personally think this is now reflected in the current downturn of their sales. They have “shot themselves in the foot”.
Houghton Road, Grantham