New Hartlepool M&S store expected to open by May

ALL-CHANGE: The new Marks and Spencer store at the Anchor Retail Park
ALL-CHANGE: The new Marks and Spencer store at the Anchor Retail Park

A HIGH Street giant will close the doors on a town centre store before moving onto a retail park just 24 hours later.

Bosses at Marks & Spencer revealed plans in July last year to close their store in Middleton Grange Shopping Centre and concentrate all of their efforts on a new 
food outlet at Anchor Retail Park.

Work is progressing well at the unit on the retail park which was formerly occupied by JJB Sports, and is expected to be completed and open to shoppers by May.

An exact date of the new store opening is still to be confirmed, although the existing store will be closed the day before.

The 50-strong team of staff who currently work at the Middleton Grange store have all been offered positions in the new shop and there 
will be no job losses as a result of the relocation.

Despite the firm saying last summer that the new unit would include an in-store cafe, the Mail understands that will not be the case.

Marks & Spencer has had a presence in Hartlepool town centre since 1969, and while the closure of the store will leave shopping centre bosses with a prominent unit to fill the firm insists that shoppers will be given an “improved” experience.

An M&S spokesperson said: “The new store will provide our customers with an improved shopping experience, including free parking at the retail park.

“We expect the store to open early May and we 
will inform the local 
community as soon as a date has been finalised.”