Possible silver lining following Marks & Spencer decision to leave Great Yarmouth town centre

The Marks and Spencer store in the town centre in Great Yarmouth which is closing and moving to the out of town Gapton Hall Retail Park.

Picture: James Bass The Marks and Spencer store in the town centre in Great Yarmouth which is closing and moving to the out of town Gapton Hall Retail Park. Picture: James Bass

Monday, July 28, 2014
6:30 AM

The “disappointing” news that council bosses cannot convince Marks & Spencer to stay in Great Yarmouth town centre has been balanced by a suggestion the new out-of-town store could eventually bring more jobs to the borough.

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The unexpected news that M&S was leaving town after more than 100 years to open a Simply Food store and 50-seat cafe on Yarmouth’s Gapton Hall Retail Park was met with consternation earlier this month.

On Friday, Great Yarmouth Borough Council leaders met company bosses in a bid to find out why they were moving.

Council leader Trevor Wainwright said, while “still disappointing”, he had been assured it was a “purely commercial” decision.

“We do understand their reasons,” he said. “It’s not unique to Yarmouth, in some areas they are pulling out of towns completely. They explained that footfall had been steadily dropping and that basket spend was down.

“It’s still disappointing but jobs have been saved and they said that, if it’s a success on Gapton Hall, it could mean more jobs.”

M&S, which owns the large two-storey unit in King Street, is already looking for a tenant to move in after they move out in January next year, added Mr Wainwright.

10 comments

  • Gapton is not the future.. Bricks and motar shopping is not the future ... Online shopping is the future... 2 million sale a week have transferred to online and lost to high street shops... FACT, like it or not ... Amazon has 1 million sales a day worldwide.. Online is 35% of shopping and growing each month...GY marketplace is slowly going into history... For shopping... If Palmers, BHS, Debenhams.. Do not follow M & S by .2020 it will be a suprise if they are ALL.. still there trading in GY...BASIC LOGIC .. . When 1 mega wharehouse in the future can have 2 million sales a day in Norfolk.. Why would stores in Gapton stay trading on far reduced sales ... If online sales double in 10 years time... Gapton may just be a stop gap for 10 years as online sales grow and grown... Home deliveries are the future .. Including food deliveries.. .. Cheaper and no travel costs.... 1 million food deliveries a week now.... Facts speak for themselfs.. The trend is for home deliveries on many things by more and more people.. Gapton may be history in 25 years time.. Who knows..

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    Lionel

    Thursday, July 31, 2014

  • Can't wait for the new M and S to be built. Yarmouth town centre is a joke and not worth saving. Pour money into Gapton hall it is the future, people do not go to a town centre anymore it is a Victorian way to shop.

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    Steady On

    Monday, July 28, 2014

  • Trevor Wainright states “It’s still disappointing but jobs have been saved and they said that, if it’s a success on Gapton Hall, it could mean more jobs.” The big words are 'IF IT'S A SUCCESS. Wishful thinking methinks, How many companies around Yarmouth have said this in the past year about adding extra staff, not now but over a certain amount of time. It will be the same with M&S, they won't commit to other staff now, in fact they have enough already because the staff from the other area's have been integrated into the food and cafe at Gapton Hall, if anything, they will be overstaffed. To reply to what people are saying here about major stores not wanting to come here, I don't believe it's entirely believe it's to do with the rates etc. I believe it's also because the footfall isn't enough out of season to warrant it. Oh, and unless they amended the typo (they don't usually), I can't see any football, it says footfall in the article.

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    Spooky

    Monday, July 28, 2014

  • YarcoYella. Primark has always said that they will never come to Yarmouth, but we will see. The council do not set the rates, but the Government does, however I bet that the companies are not happy having unqualified councillors asking about what is commercial confidential, and questioning them. Time Wainwright realised he and his cohorts are not qualified to discuss confidential matters nor should they. They are only in charge of a two bit, tuppenny ha'penny town with no future. Too much has been ignored in the town, for the sake of their vested interest seafront.

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    "V"

    Monday, July 28, 2014

  • Unbelievable!!!...There is NO 'silver lining' in this article at all...another name shop 'pulling out' of the already declining town centre...pound shops, charity shops and betting shops are all we seem to see in their place. A 'silver lining' would see the huge Co-Op store being divided into smaller branded shops inside like, HMV, Virgin, Millets, Burtons, Top Shop, Next, etc...rather than stood empty and rotting away...maybe a discount shop like Primark will go on the Marks and Spencer site...but it's a sad state of affairs that these old buildings are standing empty doing nothing...but it seems we just cannot, unfortunately, attract businesses anymore to our once great town? PS: (Maybe the GY Borough Council should have a look at itself as well...and the HUGE rates they charge...which is probably another major factor as to why no major chains want to come!!!)

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    YarcoYella

    Monday, July 28, 2014

  • Possible silver lining following Marks & Spencer decision to leave Great Yarmouth town centre. Who on earth said this!! No one, except the person writing this awful article. Stop making up headline the bear no relationship to the truth.

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    canaryken

    Monday, July 28, 2014

  • Well it's not unique to Great Yarmouth that Companies want to relocate out of the Town Centre. M&S decided to open up a Simply Foods Store in Norwich on the Outer Ring Road, clearly M&S thinks everybody has their own Car ! It's not like you can then carry huge amounts of Food shopping on a Bus, and even if you could, you'd have to dice with death to even reach one of the 2 nearby bus stops on Drayton Road. But like JCW said Footfall is one of the reasons and not Football, Reporters and Proof Readers and Editors at Archant having a bad day again ? :p

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    che bramley

    Monday, July 28, 2014

  • I'm sure it's "footfall" that's steadily dropping, not "football" . . . but who knows?

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    JCW

    Monday, July 28, 2014

  • Totally agree with you "V". If the council dropped the rent prices perhaps these companies could be persuaded to stay. Also, last week I am sure they said M&S were going to continue there with their food produce, now it sounds like this is not happening. If the council was not spending so much on wages for themselves more money could be injected into the town. No right minded business is ever going to come to "Great" Yarmouth as it is at present, and this is proven by all the empty shops.

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    Lynda

    Monday, July 28, 2014

  • So we knew that Wainwright and his cronies stood no chance of keeping Marks & Spencer. Who the hell wants unqualified councils poking their noses into company business. Now a big backtrack from the great unqualified. EDP. Where is the possible "silver lining" then ?. Just an attention grabbing headline with no substance. They cant even fill the old co-op building, so there will be no hope for the old M & S building. Yet another misleading headline.

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    "V"

    Monday, July 28, 2014

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