1. ITV Report

Marks and Spencer propose to close two stores in our region

M&S has today announced that it is proposing the closures of its Darlington and Stockton stores as part of a programme to reshape its UK store estate.

The company said it will be consulting with 82 colleagues at its Darlington store, and 45 colleagues at its Stockton store.

Store closures in our region will affect around 120 employees Credit: PA

Including the two North East stores, M&S has today announced that 14 stores in total are proposed for closure or set to close. They say 100 stores will have shut by 2020.

In a statement, the company said there will be relocations, conversions, downsizes and the introduction of concessions, to "radically reshape" M&S’s Clothing & Home space.

The decision to propose the closures of Darlington and Stockton was a difficult one and we will be speaking with all our colleagues individually about what is right for them.

We remain committed to the community and customers can continue to shop with us at our nearby stores, including Teesside Retail Park. Later this year we’ll also be opening our new Foodhall at West Park which will offer our popular M& collect in store service.

– Andrew Crooks, Head of Region for North East at Marks & Spencer
Employees in our region will be consulted of their future Credit: PA

Closing stores isn’t easy but it is vital for the future of M&S. Where we have closed stores, we are seeing an encouraging number of customers moving to nearby stores and enjoying shopping with us in a better environment, which is why we’re continuing to transform our estate with pace.

– Sacha Berendji, Retail, Operations and Property Director at Marks & Spencer

However, it's believed the new Foodhall at West Park Village in Darlington is still due to open later this year.