Published: October 15, 2021 | Updated: October 15, 2021

Half a century of trading on same site to come to an end as M&S bring shutters down in Poole

Marks and Spencer’s Poole store in the then named Arndale Centre in 1971. Picture: M&S Company Archive.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Half a century of trading on the same site will come to an end when Marks & Spencer closes its Poole store in 2022.

Fifty nine jobs are affected by the store giant’s decision to bring down the shutters from January.

The company says it will talk to colleagues individually over the coming weeks and, wherever possible, offer alternative roles with M&S.

Marks & Spencer opened its store in the Dolphin Shopping Centre, then named the Arndale Centre, in 1971.

Announcing the closure, Aaron Spicer, M&S Regional Manager, said: “Shopping habits are changing, so we’re rotating our store estate to make sure we have the right stores to offer our customers a brilliant shopping experience.

“As part of this transformation, we have announced to colleagues our proposal to close our M&S Poole store at the Dolphin Shopping Centre in January 2022.

“Our priority now is to talk to our colleagues about what this announcement means for them and, wherever possible, offer them alternative roles with M&S.

“We appreciate that this will be disappointing news for some and we would like to thank all our customers who have shopped with us in the store.

“We will be working hard to keep serving them in our nearby local stores – including our Broadstone and Westbourne Foodhalls where customers can also Click and Collect shopping from M& and our Castlepoint store which offers a large range of M&S Food and Clothing & Home products.”

The closure of the Poole store follows the decision by M&S to pull out of Bournemouth town centre in 2018.

Three years on and the Commercial Road site is still empty.

Jacqui Rock, pictured right, Poole Business Improvement District (BID) Lead, said: “We are obviously disappointed to see M&S leave Poole.

“But since the reopening of our high street, and specifically the Dolphin Shopping Centre, out of lockdown we have seen many positive changes here.

“They include the launch of the Kingland experience as well as the imminent collaboration with BCP Council for adult learning, co-working space and further investment being made in GATHER, the Dolphin Centre’s community events space.

“This has been further enhanced by weekly street markets championing the community’s independent retailers.

“There is much happening here to lend itself well to giving another retailer the opportunity to flourish here.”