Marks and Spencer says it is convinced its proposal to close the Spring Gardens store ‘is the right one’ - despite counter-arguments by Buxton business leaders and politicians.
Since the retailer’s shock announcement that it was consulting with 46 staff over the closure many have called on M&S to reconsider in light of millions- worth of investment in the town’s visitor economy.
However, on behalf of the store’s chief executive Steve Rowe, its head of public affairs Tony Ginty wrote that senior management personnel had already evaluated ‘the potential impact of developments in the town, such as housing, tourist attractions and town centre improvements’ and had decided the proposed closure was the right decision.
In his letter to business organisation Vision Buxton Mr Ginty confirmed it owned the lease on the Spring Gardens building and would be seeking to sublet it.
He wrote: “We fully recognise and agree that it is in both our interests to have a new tenant in as soon as possible.”
Speaking about the letter Vision Buxton chairman Roddie MacLean said: “I still think we’ve got a great future but we’ve got shops to fill.
“But we don’t necessarily want another retailer that will fill all that floor space - the problem is Buxton is short of medium to large retail units.
“When White Stuff came they created the space they needed by knocking two adjacent units together.
“We just need to be as imaginative as possible - there may be a way of carving up M&S due to its big ‘L’ shape.”
Roddie said the future was ‘definitely not’ all doom and gloom.
He said: “There must be lots of other retailers who fancy coming to Buxton - the retail area isn’t that big.
“With the future increase in visitor numbers we will be able to fill it.”