Staff at M&S Simply Food were told yesterday it would be closing this summer after the company opted not to renew the lease on the building.
Shocked customers reacted with dismay at the news and immediately began an online petition. Already, 281 people have signed as of 5.50pm today. See bottom of article for link.
Marks and Spencer has this afternoon confirmed to Hillingdon is Here that the the store will close over the summer and said it will update customers in the area on a date as soon as it can. The shop has been there since 2003.
Officials pointed to the fact that there are several stores nearby. There will be no redundances because all staff at the Ruislip store will be redeployed.
Ryan Kerr, head of region for North London at Marks & Spencer, said:“The decision not to renew our lease and therefore close our small food store on Ruislip High Street was a difficult one to make. Our 35 colleagues will all move to nearby stores including Pinner and Uxbridge.”
Hillingdon is Here has asked the company to elaborate on the reasons behind the closure and campaigners' claims that the store remains profitable. Marks and Spencer has said it will respond. Updates to come as we get them.
The petition, launched on Change.org stated: “The residents of Ruislip believe this store is profitable and well supported by the local community. It brings much needed footfall to the High street and provides access to good quality products to those without access to a car.
“The residents of Ruislip simply don’t understand the decision to close and strongly oppose the decision.”
The news of the closure came as it was revealed today that Britain's high street stores have recorded their worst year-on-year May performance for 12 years despite the royal wedding, warm weather and two bank holidays.
Sales were down 2.2 per cent in the month last year, it was reported.