Published: 10:01, 11 July 2014
After a century of trading, Marks and Spencer in Gravesend will close its doors in two months' time.
In an announcement this morning M&S top brass confirmed that the last day of trading for the New Road store will be September 27.
This is later that than the original projected date of August.
A spokesperson for Marks & Spencer said: “It’s a difficult decision that we’ve not made lightly.
"Unfortunately, the store is in need of modernisation and the scale of the investment required means that it is no longer commercially viable.
We hope our customers in Gravesend will continue to shop with us at our new website M&S.com and our new look stores in Bluewater and Hempstead Valley.”
When it was announced that the store was earmarked for closure some months ago, there was uproar in the town.
Many believe the loss of Marks and Sparks will signal the end of Gravesend as an attractive shopping destination.
Hundreds of people backed a Messenger campaign to keep the shop open with more than 2,000 people signing petitions, among them was 93-year-old Vera Purll who collected 803 signatures alone.
However, despite everyone’s efforts - it was not enough.
Gravesham council leader John Burden said he was sad to hear of the announcement.
He said: "It's obviously very bad news.
"I’m very disappointed that the petitions submitted by [Cllr] Tan Dhesi and by the Gravesend Messenger and the representation we made as a council did not have an effect at all.
“I think what we need to do now is move forward and bring the store into use as quickly as possible and work with Marks and Spencer.
"It may be that they intend to sell the building as a retail unit, but we don’t want it to be a blank space for very long.”
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