Marks and Spencer store opening delayed by three months
SHOPPERS looking forward to a new Marks & Spencer superstore in Gloucester will have to wait a bit longer after the opening was delayed by three months.
In May the luxury retailer announced it was taking over the old Woolworths store in Eastgate Street, moving out of both its existing Northgate and Southgate Street shops.
It was originally supposed to be opening in April next year, but this has now been pushed back to July.
Despite the setback, Barry Leach, of Gloucester City Centre Community Partnership, doesn't think it will impact the city too much.
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He said: "I don't think it's that big a blow, these things happen quite often.
"The main thing is that it is happening. It's going to be a positive thing for the city.
"Yes it will be leaving two empty units behind, but they are both large units which should attract retailers. More and more traders are after the bigger units, and at the moment in Gloucester we just have lots of little ones. I think we can cope with a three month delay."
The new store, which was left empty by Woolworths in January 2009, will create 20 new jobs and it will be 64,000 sq ft; 2,000sq ft bigger than the two current spaces put together.
Gloucester City Council leader Paul James said: "I'm not concerned with the delay at all.
"It is a huge investment Marks and Spencer is making in the city centre and it will provide us with a fantastic store. It will be well worth the wait."
There had been some concern over asbestos in the building, but this was denied by Marks & Spencer.
A spokesman said: "We can confirm that the Northgate Street store will be opening in summer 2012. We very much look forward to unveiling our new look store to our customers next summer."