Farewell to Marks & Spencer

Marks & Spencer arrived in Rhyl, at 63, High Street, in 1932 – over 80 years ago.  We are all sad to see them leave our High Street, but times change and we wish them well in their new store in Prestatyn.

The Marks & Spencer archive department have very kindly supplied us with a history of the Rhyl store along with some wonderful images.

Rhyl Store History

“The store opened in Rhyl on the 13 May 1932 at 63 High Street. The main frontage was red brick with gables and bay windows. Above the first set of windows a sign “Marks & Spencer Ltd. Stores” was located. Later the main frontage had a covered arcade with decorative iron posts and a reiteration of the above sign ran along the top of the arcade. In the widows goods that were on sale were displayed, for example fruits, clothing and sweets.

On 29 May 1936 the store was extended.  A further extension opened on 17 July 1936. The store frontage measured 58 feet, with a sales area of 11,200 square feet. By 1936 the interior of the store had dark wooden flooring with the goods piled high on heavy wooden cupboards. Typical products that were sold were footwear including beach shoes, tennis shoes, maids plimsolls. Other departments included toys, crockery, menswear, ladies drapery and hosiery.

Rhyl, 63 High St, 30 Jan 1936 resized

Rhyl Interior, 63 High St, 1936 resized

Above images from 1936 (photo credit: The Marks & Spencer Company Archive)

By 1955 the bay windows had been replaced and the main sign removed. The covered arcade was also removed. This was in keeping with the more modern style of the store. The window displays can be easily seen from the pavement and a greater range of clothing is displayed with new products, such as Bri-Nylon stockings, in the front.

Rhyl, 63 High St, 1955 resized

above image is from 1955 (photo credit: The Marks & Spencer Company Archive)

By 1961 the front-left of the store was extended into the adjacent London Central Meat Company. This store had been there when Marks & Spencer had first opened in 1932. Again the store was extended further on the left- hand side to include the whole of the distinctly black and white beamed “Tudor” style neighbouring building. The extension, opened on 16 November 1962, increased the store’s sales area to 11,900 square feet with a frontage of 71 feet.

On 16 October 1970 the rear of the store was extended, increasing the store sales area to 16,500 square feet.

Rhyl, 63 High St, 1979 2-1 resized

above image is from 1979 (photo credit: The Marks & Spencer C0mpany Archive)

A link to the Mall was opened on 17 September 1984, increasing sales area to 17,200 square feet.

Store ceased trading on 6 March 2013.”

Below is a photograph of the new Marks & Spencer store in Prestatyn, taken today (their opening day) March 7th 2013.

MS-Prestatyn-16 (2)

Photo: Courtesy of Marks & Spencer

visit the website: http://marksintime.marksandspencer.com/

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3 Comments

Filed under Buildings/Location, Work/Business

3 responses to “Farewell to Marks & Spencer

  1. lnd.redfern@hotmail.co.uk

    Will be missed. I shall visit once, form an opinion, and regardless will not visit again, it is out of my area and LLandudno and Chester much nicer places to visit. There are a lot of people of the same opinion. M and S should have thought of the geography.

  2. Pingback: Rhyl – Store 308 | Woolies Buildings - Then and Now

  3. Can you tell me what year the Town Hall Square was renovated with the seating area and flagstones in the circle? Also, do you know when the Rhyl High Street was pedestrianised?

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