Blow to Dorchester High Street as iconic retailer leaves town

Blow to Dorchester High Street as iconic retailer leaves town

Published by Maria Greenwood at 9:35am 22nd February 2020. (Updated at 12:02pm 22nd February 2020)

Today's your last chance to go to Marks and Spencer in Dorchester.

After Saturday 22nd February, Marks and Spencer on South Street will be shut for good.

The closure, which was announced in July, has been put down to a change in shopping habits.

Sandy Jordan is a shop owner in Dorchester and organised a demonstration to keep the shop open,.

But unfortunately it wasn't enough to stop the store from closing down. 

Campaigners gather outside Dorchester M&S

Mrs Jordan, runs Jordan's Jewellers in the town centre: 

"I think it's a really sad day for the town but also for the staff of Marks and Spencer's Dorchester, who have been brilliant and represent the store really well. It's going to leave a massive hole in the middle of our high street and it's a worry.

"Whenever I go in there, I still can't believe it's going to shut because it's always so busy. It's great to shop online but if we don't shop at our local businesses, those shops are going to shut.

"I am in there every day, I'll buy my lunch in there,  and I buy my milk in there. But we all know M&S for their nice quality undies and tights. It's going to leave a bit of a gap, where are we going to go?

Marks and Spencer Shop window

Neil Strudwick is chairman of the Dorchester BID and says he would like to see another flagship style store in its place

"It's a flagship style space in the centre of town in such a prime location. But it's unbelievably sad because every high street has an M&S and I feel it's a mistake for them to pull out.

"Yes we're going to lose M&S, but there are other shops in the town that can possibly fill the void. We've got more boutiques and more independents setting up than ever before.

"When you lose a shop of the calibre of M&S any town is going to miss it because it's such a popular store. The food hall in there is so busy at times, I'm just shocked that they want to close it.

"And I do hope that the staff in there have jobs to go to. And that M&S can actually help them get back in to their own businesses their own business."

Marks and Spencer say the closure has been a "difficult but necessary part of reshaping their store estate."