Marks & Spencer is to close its Dorchester store as part of a major restructuring of its business.

The company has been struggling to make a profit as changing shopping habits have hit high street retailers.

Earlier this year M&S said it planned to close 72 of its high street stores, on top of 48 that had already closed.

The company has also come in for criticism over the quality of its offering. One Dorchester resident said she wasn’t surprised given the poor range of clothes on offer, including a very limited men’s range.

Just a few years ago M&S was mooted as one of the two big anchor stores, along with Waitrose, for the much-vaunted Charles Street town centre redevelopment scheme, which was later abandoned.

“Shopping habits are changing so we’re transforming our store estate to meet the needs of today’s customers,” said Aaron Spicer, M&S head of region for Wessex.

“Proposing to close our Dorchester store is a difficult but necessary part of reshaping our estate to have fewer, but more inspirational stores. Over the coming weeks our priority will be supporting our great team of colleagues at Dorchester as we discuss what’s best for them.

“We remain committed to local customers and, if the proposal goes ahead, we will continue to serve them from our website and other stores in the area, including M&S Weymouth and our foodhall in Blandford, where customers can also pick up clothing and home products in store via click and collect.”

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