A total of 38 staff at Marks & Spencer's store in Newmarket are facing an anxious time after the store was proposed for closure under radical plans to revive the high street chain's fortunes.
The announcement comes after an unscheduled update on Tuesday, when M&S said that 14 stores had been proposed for closure as part of its plans to realign its clothing and homewares space.
At a local level, speculation over the future of department store rivals David Jones and Myer has been a regular feature of recent years.
MARKS & Spencer is expected to announce more store closures this week as it reports another year of falling sales. Its clothing and home business is a particular focus of its transformation efforts. It plans to relocate, convert and downsize other stores and "radically" reshape its clothing and homewares business.
Marks & Spencer retail, operations and property director Sacha Berendji described the closures as not easy, but "vital for the future of M&S".
More than 600 employees face losing their jobs as a outcome of the decision, which the retail giant insisted was critical to its "wider five-year transformation plan to make M&S special again".
Marks & Spencer currently has over 1,000 locations in the UK
The closures will affect its under-performing clothing and home stores, of which 14 in Britain have been earmarked for immediate closure. "Where we have closed stores, we are seeing an encouraging number of customers moving to nearby stores and enjoying shopping with us in a better environment".
After four years he rose to store manager but felt the pipeline for promotions was sparse, so he joined M&S as a commercial management trainee.
That is the second-highest level of any company in the UK's benchmark FTSE 100 index. Should these stores close, all colleagues would be redeployed or offered redeployment at other stores before redundancy is considered, M&S said.
It was accelerated a year later when Archie Norman, a retail veteran and former boss of Asda, arrived as chairman.
Online shopping accounts for 22% of non-food retail sales in the United Kingdom, according to the British Retail Consortium.
The scaling-back of its store estate was launched in November 2016 by Steve Rowe, who rose from the shop floor to chief executive. The retailer had planned to open 200 more food stores from 2017.
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