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M&S poised to open food shop at retail park
A NEW Marks & Spencer store is set to open at the Mayflower Retail Park in Basildon .
The high street giant has submitted plans to Basildon Council to open the new Simply Food shop in the former MFI store, which closed a year ago.
The news has been cautiously welcomed by politicians, who say it’s great that an empty shop is being filled. But they worry it could take trade away from town centres in the borough.
Malcolm Buckley , councillor with responsibility for regeneration, said: “It’s great news Marks & Spencer wants to increase the number of shops they have in Basildon.
“It’s a leading high street retailer, and the fact it wants to invest in Basildon shows perhaps the economy is picking up. “The new shop will bring new jobs and opportunities to Basildon, which is really good for the town. “My only worry would be that it could take trade away from Basildon town centre.
“We have so many retail parks in Basildon, we need to do as much as possible to attract shoppers into our town centres.
“Shoppers are attracted to out of town retail parks because it’s free to park and they are easy to access. “The town centre has a lot to offer, and we need to ensure this is paramount in our regeneration plan.”
A spokesman for Marks & Spencer confirmed the new shop would be opening, but refused to confirm how many new jobs would be created, what precisely the shop would sell, how much floorspace there would be or when it would open.
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