Marks and Spencer finally confirms closing date for Sunderland store, and opening details of new Washington M&S

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A sad end of an era

Marks and Spencer will soon close their High Street West outlet for good.Marks and Spencer will soon close their High Street West outlet for good.
Marks and Spencer will soon close their High Street West outlet for good.

Marks and Spencer has confirmed the date for the opening of their new store at The Galleries in Washington - and when its branch in Sunderland city centre will close for good.

The Galleries outlet will open to customers on Thursday, May 30 at 9am. Signage on hoardings around the shop had said it would open in June.

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The Echo made repeated attempts to establish the closing date for the doomed High Street West shop.

Now, after months of rumours, but no official confirmation, the company says the last day of trading will be Saturday, May 25.

The closure of the shop was announced by the company in January, but no more precise a date was given than some time in Spring 2024.

M&S has previously said: "The Sunderland store will also continue trading until the new Washington Galleries store is ready to open.”

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The soon-to-be abandoned premises are owned by Sunderland City Council. However, M&S hold the lease until March 2027 and remain wholly responsible for the building until then.

This has raised concerns that another large building could stand empty in the city centre. Local councillors have been at loggerheads on the issue.

Opposition Conservatives claimed in March that M&S had written to them, saying they "would consider staying in Sunderland" if free-after-three parking was restored in the city centre.

Labour responded by challenging the Tories to produce the letter.

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Sunderland Conservatives also say they have applied to Historic England to give the building listed status.

In a press release Rob Slone, manager of the new store, said: “We are really excited to announce that the new M&S The Galleries store will open on the 30th May.

"I can’t wait to open the doors this month and welcome the local community in so they can see the very best of M&S for themselves."

The press release makes no reference to the High Street West closure, but M&S finally responded after our latest attempt, confirming May 25.

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The new Galleries store opens on May 30.The new Galleries store opens on May 30.
The new Galleries store opens on May 30.

In January the Echo asked Marks and Spencer directly if their High Street West outlet had been making a profit or a loss. They declined to answer.

The new branch is at Units 4-6 at the Galleries Retail Park; a few doors down from an existing M&S Foodhall.

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