SHOPPERS in King Street have reacted with shock and sadness at news that the town’s Marks & Spencer store is to close its doors.
“I can’t believe it”, said Suzanne Cape, 52, a retired former council worker from Whiteleas.
She added: “I’m really shocked. I shop here three or four times a week. It’s really popular with the older people too, they like to get their bits and bobs there.
“Once it’s gone, I can’t imagine I will be coming into town that often anymore.”
Janice Smith, 51, from South Shields, said: “I use it all the time. It is the only store that is keeping the street going.
“I’m really upset about this but I had a feeling it might go. It’s a huge blow for the town centre.”
Jean Nyberg, 82, from Simonside, added: “The staff really are lovely and they order me a taxi home when I come to shop here. This is really upsetting and I’m going to miss it.”
Joan Brooks, 74, of West Stephenson Street, South Shields, said: “There aren’t enough decent shops in South Shields town centre, and this is going to make it much worse.
“I’m just waiting for the day when I come in to town and there’s a sign saying ‘sorry, Shields is closed’.”
Former Merchant Navy man Denis Atkinson, 66, from Jarrow, said: “The street is really going downhill.
“There are so many shops closing and it’s beginning to remind me of the way Frederick Street went.
“This inevitably means that shoppers will leave the town in favour of Newcastle and Sunderland.”
Marion Frame, 75, of Whiteleas, said she “practically lives in M&S”, adding: “I’ve been coming here for 22 years.
“I get everything here. This has come out of the blue and I’m really shocked.
“If it’s going to close next month then I’m going to have to stock up.”