Changing face of M&S does not mean end of Murraygate store

© DC Thomson
The Murraygate branch is undergoing a pre-Christmas spruce-up.

The signs are looking good for the future of Dundee’s flagship Marks & Spencer store.

The company’s Murraygate store is being given a facelift for Christmas, which will see the signs replaced on the food and clothing store.

This meant the old signs on front of the building had to be removed — causing speculation amongst some shoppers that the branch was closing down.

Marks & Spencer revealed last month that it intends to 60 clothing and home stores over the next five years after it revealed an 18.6% fall in half-year profits.

However, a spokeswoman for the high street giant said nothing could be read into the removal of the sign from the Murraygate store.

She said: “The signage is being replaced and the new sign should be up within a few days.”

In November, M&S dismissed “speculation” that the Murraygate branch could be one of the stores to close.

Retail analyst Matthew Hopkinson of the Local Data Company had identified stores he believed were more likely to be sacrificed by the company.

So far M&S has only said it will not close any food-only stores.

Mr Hopkinson said there were a number of factors that may influence M&S’ decision on which stores to shut, including whether there was more than one branch in the town or if it was situated in an area with a high number of empty retail units nearby.

However, he said his calculations did not take into account the profitability of individual stores, or rent and business rates.

However, M&S said Mr Hopkinson’s list was just “speculation” and the company will open 200 new food stores over the next five years as well as closing 60 food and clothing outlets.

One Dundee shopper said he was relieved the removal of the old Marks & Spencer frontage had not been a sign of things to come.

Donald Suttie said: “You would think there would be no point in changing it if the place is closing so it must be good news.”