Proposed M&S is final straw for Aston Marina farm shop
The award-winning farm shop at Aston Marina, in Stone, Staffordshire, has closed to make way for an expanded bar and restaurant.
The marina owners took the decision after Marks & Spencer won approval for a new food hall at nearby Westbridge Park.
The shop – an FFD Deli of the Month in 2015 – closed in early February and sold off stock at up to 50% off in the run-up.
According to director Helen Webb, customers said they would miss the cheese counter most. “But people buy nice cheese twice a year and they buy average cheese from the supermarket 52 weeks of the year.”
The M&S opening would give people less reason to visit, she said. “It’s already the case that people don’t come here to do their weekly shop.”
The food retail side was “washing its face” but it was the least profitable of Aston Marina’s different departments, including the bistro from which people were regularly turned away.”
Retail could return to the marina after 2017, Webb said, but only in the form of a concession.