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September closure for M&S prompts search for new tenant
Marks and Spencer will close its Brussels store on 30 September, as work gets under way to negotiate redundancy terms for about 130 staff and find a new tenant for the premises.
The British food and fashion outlet - one of about 50 worldwide earmarked for closure - was initially due to shut up shop in May or June, according to RTBF, but unions and management agreed to delay this until after the summer sales.
Viviane Teitelbaum, the Ixelles alderwoman for commerce, said it was vital that the store did not sit empty for long. Landlord GH Group, which also owns the neighbouring Zara and Apple stores, says the adjoining shops will be consulted on who will take up residency.
RTBF reports that Uniqlo has reportedly ruled itself out. Other names doing the rounds include fashion retailers Primark and Kiabi.
Rent on the 5,000m² premises is reported to be in excess of €7m a year. Boris van Haare Heijmeijer, a partner at Cushman & Wakefield, the firm in charge of winding up the Brussels store, said: "Stores like M&S, spread over three floors, are rare in Brussels. There are potential candidates - not many, but serious ones nonetheless."
M&S made a return to Brussels in May last year after a 15-year absence. According to Brussels trade body Atrium, about 4,000 people walk past the store every day.