Gravesham council leader Cllr John Burden has labelled the decision by M&S to leave Gravesend after over 100 years "amazing" and explained the council were not happy with the announcement.
He said: "I think obviously the situation isn't a good one, we are disappointed that the first we heard about it was this morning."
The news that the retail giant is quitting the town has stunned business leaders, politicians and shoppers. Gravesham council quickly issued a statement on Monday morning saying it would be making "strong representations" to M&S management.
Cllr Burden said: "It's a big surprise because Tesco are in the middle of a £2 million refurbishment of its store and Debenhams is also in the middle of a refurbishment so all the big players are reinvesting in Gravesend.
"Our footfall has been better in Gravesend than most neighbouring towns and the Thamesgate is fully let and we've got Paramount coming. It's irrational what they're doing.
"What we are trying to do now is engage in conversation with them [Marks and Spencer] and try to understand their rationale and convince them they're actually making a mistake so they keep the store open for local people."
Don't miss out, subscribe today. Keep up to date with our newsletters.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating! PLUS, register for free!.
Find out what's going on in the garden, with Kent expert Lucy Hewett's weekly update.
Buy pictures that you've seen in a KM newspaper, or send in a picture and we will place it on our photo sales website so that you can purchase a super, unique gift.