Edinburgh M&S: Ocean Terminal Marks and Spencer to close sparking fears over Leith shopping centre's future

M&S has announced its store in Leith will close later this year, sparking fears about the future of the shopping centre.

The Simply Food shop on the first floor of the 20-year-old Ocean Terminal shopping centre will shut down with the company citing “changing” shopping habits as the reason behind the decision.

It follows the closure of a number of outlets at the complex including Debenhams – one of the centre's anchor stores which shut after the chain went into liquidation.

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M&S said it is confident the “vast majority” of staff will be found new roles at one of its eight other stores in Edinburgh – but it is understood that the move could mean some job losses.

The M&S Food in Leith's Ocean Terminal has announced it will close

In the last two years, the company has opened two of Scotland’s first new look foodhalls at their Edinburgh Gyle and Straiton stores.

The Ambassador Group, which bought Ocean Terminal in March 2021, has submitted £100million masterplan to turn it into a gateway to the waterfront for the local community, adding to the wider regeneration of Leith.

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MSP Foysol Choudhury said the store’s closure could be the “death knell” for Ocean Terminal.

He said: “I was shocked to find out the M&S store in Ocean Terminal is set for closure with the loss of a number of jobs. Marks and Spencer is one of Ocean Terminal’s remaining flagship outlets for the area.

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The M&S food outlet at Edinburgh's Ocean Terminal will close later in 2022

“With the tram set to arrive before long, I fear that this is a short-term decision that will damage Leith in the long-term."

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The MSP said he would be writing to Marks and Spencer to seek a meeting “urgently”.

Scott Munro, M&S regional manager for Scotland East said: “Shopping habits are changing and we’re reshaping our store estate across Scotland and the UK to make sure we’re reflecting the needs of our customers. As part of this transformation, we have announced to colleagues our decision to close the M&S store at Ocean Terminal later this year.

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“Our priority is to support our colleagues through these changes and we are confident of being able to offer new roles to the vast majority of those affected. We are committed to Edinburgh and this decision means there are more opportunities to invest in our eight other stores across the city.”

Ambassador Group has been contacted for comment.

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