MY early career in manufacturing involved supply for new store openings of Marks and Spencer across the UK, Europe and North America.

At the time, in the mid-1990s, Marks’s were expanding rapidly and took the lead position in many high street or out-of-town shopping centre developments.

They were a guarantee of retail success for the centre and drew other shops in. How times have changed.

Their later decline and withdrawal from their overseas developments saw them make sweeping changes to their stock lines and were only really saved by their food halls, which still stand out.

The proposed closure of the Golden Square store, although not the blow it may have been 15 years ago, is a sad reflection upon a brand trying to move with the times, but fighting against discounters and online provision.

It is heartening to hear that jobs will be made available at other stores in the area but this piece of British retail history does leave a hole which needs filling.

Innovative firms step forward please.

Warrington’s centre is being regenerated, just a little too late for this iconic retailer. Shopping and leisure needs to be a joint experience, it’s not just about the products.

LAWRENCE Bellamy is deputy provost at the University of Chester's Padgate campus