Oxford Street ‘falling prey to tacky candy stores’, M&S boss warns

Oxford Street
// Oxford Street risks becoming a “dinosaur district destined for extinction” M&S boss warns
// Stuart Machin said Oxford Street is on “its knees” and falling prey to a “tacky candy stores”

Marks & Spencer chief executive Stuart Machin has warned that London’s Oxford Street risks becoming a “dinosaur district destined for extinction”.

In a growing row with Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove over the redevelopment of the retailer’s flagship store, Machin said the famous shopping street is on “its knees” and falling prey to a “growing proliferation of tacky candy stores”.

Machin called on Gove to allow M&S to demolish its Marble Arch store and replace it with a 10-storey retail and office unit, The Telegraph reported.

READ MORE: Over £100,000 worth of counterfeit items seized from American candy shops

M&S had secured approval from Westminster City Council and the Greater London Authority for the proposal, but Gove issued an order forcing developers to put the project on hold following concerns about its environmental impact.

Machin criticised Gove’s decision, saying there were “clear sustainability benefits to our plans”.

The redevelopment will now be referred to a public inquiry overseen by the independent planning inspector, which will present its recommendation to the government.

The process is expected to take at least six months.

Machin said: “When I walk down Oxford Street today, I see a stark reality staring back at me. One in five shops sit vacant, there is a growing proliferation of tacky candy stores and near £600,000 of counterfeit goods have been seized from hawkers this year.

“The effects of Covid have brought a street that was once the jewel of UK shopping to its knees.”

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  1. This project has been doomed from the start & now for m&s to spit their dummy out with comments like this, just proves how desperate they are. There is nothing wrong with redevelopment or downsizing but it has to be done right & be inkeeping with buildings around them, not to totally demolsh & restart. Hopefully common sense will prevail & it will get thrown out altogether

  2. Unfortunately he’s right, I was there recently and it looked sad and neglected,
    even MS was quiet and it’s usually bustling, such a shame, so Mr Gove should
    let them carry on with their plans for the future of the store, it’s sad to see the
    old store go, but i’m sure it’s going to be replaced with something magnificent


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