The community-led Save our M&S – Bedford campaign were out in Bedford this week and swamped by shoppers wanting to ‘put the spark back into Marks’ and save our town centre M&S store.
The Bedford Independent backed campaign takes a different approach to a petition style campaign, as it also collects ideas from M&S shoppers about what would make them shop in the store more.
“The idea is that we’ll deliver these comments to the M&S executive team” says campaigner Helen Patterson “they won’t just get a list of signatures, they’ll get creative but realistic ways to enhance the store, keep it open and increase profit.
“This is about showing M&S that Bedfordians have a passionate and vested interest in their business.”
The campaign is proving very popular with over 500 ideas and comments collected in just a few hours, while others have said they’ve contacted M&S through the channels recommended by the Bedford Independent.
M&S have told the Bedford Independent that, alongside taking part in campaigns like this, fans of the store can also make their voice heard by emailing their Chairman directly via firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the M&S Executive Team: 0333 014 8440.
“M&S has been in the town for 120 years” adds Helen “the brand does seem to move with the times but lots of people tell us they want wider variety of clothes and a more visible cafe.
“We know that M&S are looking to adapt their business model for the greater good of the company but closing stores that have been a part of people’s lives for generations may do more harm than good.
“We hope they see that M&S in Bedford Town centre is more than just a shop and that people here want to genuinely help them stay open, not just for nostalgia, but by shopping in the store and by working together to make it an attraction too.”
“I want to say a massive “thank you” to Beth, Dee, Gemma, and Johanna for helping with the campaign” added Helen, “and of course the shoppers who have given us some excellent feedback to help put the spark back into Marks.”
Speaking about the proposed closure, Calum Telford, M&S Head of Region for East Anglia, said: “Proposing to close our Bedford store has been a difficult decision. Over the coming weeks we will be consulting with colleagues on an individual basis and discuss what is best for them.”