Marks & Spencer has insisted its new Hale food hall is “progressing well” and remains on target to open by Christmas.
The British retail giant is opening a new outlet in the Ashley Road unit previously occupied by The Co-operative.
The Co-op actually vacated the site in March and it had been hoped the new tenant would be in by the summer.
Rumours have persisted that the opening has been severely delayed due to the discovery of asbestos in the building, and that the opening could now be put back until next year.
But an M&S spokesperson has told us that the store is “progressing well” and “will be opening towards the end of the year”.
She added: “We look forward to bringing the very best of M&S food to Hale, and will update the local community with further details of the new Foodhall nearer the time.”
The spokesperson was not able to confirm when recruitment for staff at the store will begin. All 24 of the Co-op’s Hale-based staff were offered roles by the company, but it’s not clear how many have subsequently found alternative employment due to the delays.