M&S Food to open on retail park site in Barnsley after town centre store's closure

Plans for a new M&S Food branch at a Barnsley retail park have been unveiled after it was revealed that the town’s flagship store is set to close next year.

Marks & Spencer announced in May that 32 stores are set to close, amid “increasing cost pressures and consumer uncertainty”.

In a statement, the retailer said it had plans to open 15 new full-line stores over the next three years and 40 new food stores.

Store relocations are in the works – moving from “old multi-floor buildings”, in town centres, to “modern, well-located sites”, a high proportion of which are “to the edge of town”.

M&S Food

When the closure was announced in June, Matt Graham, regional manager for M&S, said the new branch at the Peel Retail Park off Harborough Hill Road will offer 60 per cent more foodhall space than the current store.

The change was put down to changing shopping habits, and the existing store at 7 Queen Street will close once the development is complete, which is expected to be in early 2023.

Plans have now been lodged with Barnsley Council for the new store, which will be made up of two units merged together – 3B and 3C, which formerly housed a Maplin and Poundworld store.

Planning documents state that proposals include a “modest” extension to the rear, and a storage and staff use only mezzanine floor.

Overall, across both ground and mezzanine levels, the new foodstore will measure 1,770 sq.m.

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The document adds that Barnsley Council was “briefed on the proposed relocation of M&S from the town centre to the Peel Centre at the pre-application stage.

“In summary, M&S will be closing its store at Queen Street as part of its national estate management strategy.

“There is no longer a requirement for general merchandise in Barnsley, as discussed in the meeting with the leaders of the Council on the 13 June.

“However, M&S remain committed to Barnsley and have agreed terms with Peel to open a new foodstore at the Peel Centre.”

The new store will offer click and collect for clothing an non-food goods, and an “enhanced food and drink offer compared with the existing store in the town centre”.

Applicants say the development “will ensure the efficient reuse of previously developed land and bring existing vacant retail units back into an active and beneficial use.”

“M&S will increase the level of employment at the site as foodstore operators typically require higher staff levels.

“The proposed store will employ approximately 70 full and part-time staff who will primarily be recruited locally.

Residents can comment on the scheme until August 17