We are sorry to hear Marks & Spencer make this announcement having been a mainstay and anchor of shopping in central Bristol for many years. We know this will be a shock to the employees and their families, and we are offering to support them as much as we can.
The retail environment has been changing drastically over recent years, and with COVID adding further pressure, we can appreciate this decision will be driven by their business model having to change and adapt.
M&S no longer just compete with House of Fraser, John Lewis and others, but with Amazon, eBay and so many retailers operating using both bricks and clicks, so tough decisions like these are having to be made.
But with what else that’s happening in Broadmead and the surrounding area I think this closure won’t hurt our city centre shopping offer too much. It's part of change and happens alongside new retailers opening, but also much more mixed-use developments coming forward, making this part of our city much more of an area to live, work, study and play in. This will positively impact and improve it as an area, and for both its daytime and night-time economy.
Bristol has a strong reputation when it comes to independents with over 100 stores in Broadmead helping give this shopping quarter a distinctive offering and flavour. And recent figures from Broadmead BID show that for a number of stores spend is back to near pre-COVID levels.
If you just look at the cranes and hoardings nearby there will be many more people living in the area in the future and activity coming along that will build on and complement Cabot Circus and the Bristol Shopping Quarter, enhancing, supporting and driving our retail and leisure offer overall in coming years.