Marks & Spencer to close its Pontypridd branch
Council Leader Andrew Morgan has expressed his disappointment at the decision of Marks & Spencer to close its Pontypridd branch and is seeking an urgent meeting with the retailer to press for the withdrawal of this proposal.
Marks & Spencer contacted the Council today to inform them of their decision to close their retail outlet store in Taff Street and confirmed that 42 staff would be effected by this proposal and will be redeployed.
County Borough Councillor Andrew Morgan, Leader of the Council, said: “This is devastating news for Pontypridd, which I am incredibly disappointed to receive today.
“This store has been a part of the Pontypridd High Street for generations, and despite its downgrading in recent years to outlet store, continues to be a significant draw for shoppers from across the Valleys.
“This decision will leave the South Wales Valleys without a Marks and Spencer High Street provision, and I find this incredibly frustrating. As one of the largest retailers in the country, and a brand which receives significant customer loyalty, Marks & Spencer has a duty to support the local high street economy.
“The Council has sought an urgent meeting with the company to press them on the rationale for this decision and impress upon them the impact this decision will have upon the wider economy of Pontypridd.
“The Council is currently exploring options for the Taff Vale site, and the Lido is due to shortly open, in addition to other recent investments and both of these schemes will have a further positive impact for retailers in Pontypridd.
“We want to re-establish Pontypridd as a shopping destination and we would most certainly want Marks and Spencer to be a part of this.”
In an email to the Council today, Marks and Spencer said: “I am writing to inform you that we have today announced a proposal to close the M&S Outlet store located at Taff Street, Pontypridd, subject to consultation with our employee representative group.
“A review of the M&S Outlet business has revealed that as a result of investment in our supply chain and IT systems, and improved management of markdowns, fewer clothing products are being sent to M&S Outlet stores for clearance.
“This means we need less space in certain locations, and after much consideration, we have regrettably come to the conclusion that it is no longer commercially viable to continue trading in Pontypridd.
“If the proposal goes ahead, all 42 employees affected by the closure will be offered redeployment to other M&S stores.
“We recognise that you will be disappointed, but this decision has not been taken lightly and we are convinced it is the right way forward.”