MARKET traders have dismissed claims the closure of a nearby Marks & Spencer store will damage their trade.

The retail giant plans to close the Piazza store in the coming months and revamp the main New Street store.

No jobs will be lost as a result of the closure but the news comes as a blow to The Piazza and concerns have been raised recently about the number of empty stalls at Queensgate Market next to it.

Traders there insist the loss of the neighbouring Marks & Spencer store will have little affect on their businesses.

Lindsay Foster, who owns Lincolns Florists, said: “I don’t think it will make any difference at all. Every time I go in M&S it is never very busy.

“It is only the men’s clothes and lingerie and it is a bad design with everything crammed in.

“From a market perspective we are doing well. We are busier than we have ever been.”

Simon Yospur, owner of the Sweet Shop, said: “It’s sad to see a flagship brand like M&S moving all its trade to New Street. It won’t help us traders, but I don’t think it will have a massive impact.

“We have got to be positive and keep the market going. We don’t want rumours of closure as it is just scaring away customers.”

Richard Chadwick, of Williams Ironmongers, added: “I can see why M&S are making the move. To run two sites with clothing doesn’t make any sense and with running costs in the current climate you can’t blame them.

“I don’t see how they are going to fit all their stock into the New Street store. “They would have been better off having the food outlet in the Piazza as it is close to the car park for shoppers.

“We are doing a steady trade, but obviously it could always be better. We need some investment in the market to help bring people in. They have talked for years about building a second floor here, but it just never happened.”

Azra Qureshi, manager at Nail Fairy, said: “I am disappointed to see M&S closing in this part of town. I really like M&S, but I think it makes sense for the men’s clothes to be with everything else.’’

Meanwhile, M&S bosses have today revealed further details of the plans for New Street with the renovations set to be carried out by the end of the summer.

The existing food hall, which will also be revamped, will be reduced from 9,000sq ft to 6,000sq ft.

The extra space created by this reduction will mean that the store will feature an expanded clothing section including womenswear, lingerie, mens wear and kidswear.

M&S Huddersfield store manager Matthew Corker said: “The modernisation will provide our customers with the same M&S range in a fantastic new environment.

“The feedback from our customers has been extremely positive. Huddersfield shoppers have been asking for us to bring everything under one roof for a long time, so they are delighted with the proposals.”

Steven Pollitt, chairman of Huddersfield Town Centre Partnership said: “This is obviously a commercial decision and one that shows confidence in the town.

“The remodelled space on New Street will be able to offer a high quality shopping experience and will add a considerable uplift to one of our main high streets.

“It will also provide a regeneration opportunity at the Piazza which could encourage new retailers into the town.”

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