Exmouth Chamber of Commerce has responded to the news that fashion chain M&Co will be closing their Exmouth store.

Geoff Bowen, interim chair of the Exmouth Chamber of Commerce said it would be interesting to explore subdividing the store into smaller units similiar to the House of Fraser building in Exeter to attract a 'diverse range of regional chains and idependent retailers into the Magnolia Centre.'

He went on to say: “It’s disappointing to learn that M&Co Exmouth is closing down, and my thoughts are with those who have lost their jobs this Christmas.

"As for the future of Exmouth’s high-street, If we are unable to attract a similar store, then perhaps we should consider alternative uses for these large empty units. 

"The Exmouth branch is part of a nationwide closure of stores, caused by M&Co entering administration; it’s not a reflection of the performance of our local store, or the town in general.”

M&Co declared bankruptcy a week before Christmas and are closing their stores across the UK  - including the two stores in Exmouth and Sidmouth.

They have 750 stores across the UK and employ nearly 2,000 staff, the chain was up for sale but failed to find a bidder and have now filed for bankruptcy.

M&Co, which has had a presence in Exmouth for more than three decades, struggled during the coronavirus outbreak in 2020 which forced the temporary closure of shops for nearly four months.

47 M&Co stores were closed in 2020 across the UK in a bid to save the company.