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Retail boss Philip Day asked to consider taking over closing M&S store in Deal

By Beth Robson

A retail tycoon thought to be saving the country's high streets has been invited to visit the site of the closing M&S store in Deal.

Deal & Walmer Chamber of Trade has written to the company of Philip Day asking him to consider the space for his expanding multi-brand fashion retailer Days Department Stores.

It was reported in February that the Edinburgh Woollen Mill boss wants to buy up 10 M&S stores that have closed and is also eyeing up House of Fraser shops for his new venture.

Scroll down to hear resident's angry reaction to store closure

Deal's M&S
Deal's M&S

The billionaire who also owns ­Peacocks, Jane Norman, Jaeger, Austin Reed and Country Casuals, brings his retail brands all under one roof.

Only two Days store exist. The first branch, which opened in 2017, is housed in a former BHS outlet in Carmarthen, Wales, with a second in Bedford.

The outlets are aimed at shoppers who don’t want to schlep around vast department stores and are considered to be the answer to suffering high streets.

Chairman Peter Jull said: “We’ve invited them to visit to have a look around and show them how wonderful Deal is and see what we have to offer.

"Deal has a a profile of shoppers that would appeal to a brand like their’s."

It comes after a letter to Deal Town councillors, leaked to KentOnline, says M&S is in discussions with another retailer regarding the future use of the property.

WATCH: Residents react to store closure

The letter also highlighted that an "initial exploratory discussion" had taken place with DDC in regards to a future of the store which found that there was "no suitable site available at this time" to satisfy the firm's "strict and demanding criteria".

They told this newspaper it hopes make an announcement in the near future.

A spokesman for Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group, Day’s retail company, has not yet responded for comment.

M&S, which opened in 1937, will close at 6pm on Saturday, April 27, but could shut earlier depending on stock.

A spokesman said no sales or special events will take place to mark the closure, which is part of a scheme to slash 100 stores to decrease its high street footprint.

Dover has also lost its high street shop but it will be taken over by bargain chain B&M in May with a new store opening in the summer.

A petition was earlier launched to try and save the Deal store, which has been signed by more than 5,200 people.

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