Virgin Money has dealt another blow to Macclesfield’s high street after announcing it will close its town centre outlet.The finance firm is to shut the branch on the Market Place early next year as part of a response to ‘the changing ways customers bank’.A total of 31 stores across the country are to close.
Read more of the top stories from across Cheshire here. The company’s bosses have blamed a fall in the number of customers using the branch for day-to-day transactions in the face of increased online, mobile and telephone banking.It says the Covid pandemic has also accelerated this trend.Fergus Murphy, group customer experience director, said: “As our customers change the way they want to bank with us and conduct fewer transactions in-store, we must continue to evolve the role of our stores into places where we showcase our products and bring our digital services to life.”The news comes just a few weeks after it was revealed Marks&Spencer will shut its town centre store in winter 2022/23.This coincides with the retailer opening a Simply Food outlet at Barracks Mill.Virgin say the decision to close one of its stores is based on factors including location, usage, lease arrangements and proximity to alternatives.
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A spokesman said that 28 of the branches to close are located less than a third of a mile away from the nearest Post Office. The nearest one in Macclesfield is on Mill Street.He added: “Each store was assessed on an individual basis, with careful consideration of the impact on the local area, as well as the needs of vulnerable customers and the accessibility of alternative services such as free-to-use ATMs and Post Offices.“It is Virgin Money’s intention to find alternative roles for colleagues wherever possible, either within other stores locally or elsewhere in the group.“However, some colleagues will be at risk of redundancy.“It is expected that the changes will result in a reduction of around 112 full time equivalent roles across the group.”