The Marks and Spencer store in Ilford is proposed to be shut down and people are not happy. 

A spokesperson for the retail giant confirmed to this paper on March 15 that it is discussing the potential closure with colleagues, as part of its store closure programme. 

The conversation has been raised as M&S said sales at the store, in the Exchange Ilford shopping centre, have been on a "consistent" decline for a period of time. 

Shushila Patel, a regular shopper at Marks and Spencer, said: “Ilford has changed since I first came here in 1984. Then it changed in 1991, we had the Ilford Exchange.

"Marks and Spencer together with Debenhams and other stores were like a hub where people met on Saturday before shopping.“I personally really strongly believe that Marks and Spencer has been the cornerstone of our High Road, high street.

Barking and Dagenham Post: M&S in Ilford could be set to shutM&S in Ilford could be set to shut (Image: Google Maps)

"When shops like that go, they leave a void. And for Marks and Spencer to go, it won’t just leave a void, it will be the death of Ilford. I really feel that."

Shushila found out about the closure from staff when she went to pick up her click and collect order in store and said she "couldn't believe it". 

READ MORE: M&S planning to close down its Exchange Ilford store

She added she fears Ilford will become "a ghost place".

Facebook users shared similar concerns for the health of Ilford's high street.

Barking and Dagenham Post: Cllr Kam RaiCllr Kam Rai (Image: Redbridge Council)

One user commented: "After losing my favourite store Debenhams in Ilford Exchange, M&S will be another big blow to me and there won't be nothing left to shop at Ilford.

"Ilford will become something else with just general and groceries stores."

Barking and Dagenham Post: The retail giant could be the latest to disappear from Ilford's high street following WilkoThe retail giant could be the latest to disappear from Ilford's high street following Wilko (Image: Google Maps)Another added: "That's Ilford M&S going. Even less reason to go shopping at Ilford."

Cllr Kam Rai, Redbridge Council's cabinet member for finance and regeneration, spoke with this paper about the news today (March 18). 

He said: "Ultimately, I think it's a shame that they (M&S) are considering closing down. 

"I think there's a lot of good stuff happening around Ilford, there's a lot of good work happening with the Ilford Business Improvement District (BID) in terms of bringing people into the area. 

"There's a good customer base there, it's just a shame that Marks & Spencer are finding the market difficult for them."

We approached Ilford BID but they declined to comment.