M&S closing Bristol stores in Storm Eunice chaos but praised for still paying staff

Marks & Spencer has announced the temporary closure of several South West branches due to Storm Eunice, including all of its larger Bristol branches.

Its stores at Cribbs Causeway, Longwell Green, Eastgate, Yate, Imperial Park in Harcliffe, Avonmeads and Whiteladies Road will all be closed tomorrow morning (Friday, February 18), when the storm is expected to be at its most fierce. It is unclear if its smaller shops at Temple Meads and the Bristol Royal Infirmary will be affected.

Storm Eunice has been declared a ‘major incident’ in Avon and Somerset and schools have announced closure tomorrow, as well as major attractions, libraries and park cafes. Bin collections have also been postponed and buses have been cancelled. The Met Office has issued a rare red warning for wind between the hours of 7am tomorrow and midday.

READ MORE: Met Office urges ‘stay indoors’ as 90mph gusts expected

In an identical message shared on each of the branches’ Facebook pages, an M&S spokesperson wrote: “As a result of the Red Weather Warning guidance issued in the local area, this store will be temporarily closed tomorrow morning. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused and will be opening as soon as we can.

“We are keeping our opening hours online updated, so please check these at marksandspencer.com before visiting tomorrow. Thank you, and stay safe.”

It ended the post with a love heart emoiji. In response, a shopper responding on the Cribbs Causeway branch page hailed it a “very sensible decision”.

When another questioned if staff would still be paid, the M&S account replied: “Of course [smiley face emoji]. Anyone who is due to work who will not be in store will be paid in full and will not need to make up any hours. The safety of our team members is our number 1 priority.”

Some of Bristol’s most popular visitor attractions have also said they will close temporarily as the region prepares for severe weather conditions. Bristol Museum & Art Gallery tweeted: “The museum will be closed tomorrow (Friday, February 18) due to Storm Eunice and the red weather warning in place in the Bristol area. We will be contacting all ticket holders. Please stay safe and avoid travelling.”

Aerospace in Filton, M Shed museum, We the Curious and Clifton Suspension Bridge visitor centre are among the others to have advised of closures.

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READ MORE: Hour-by-hour forecast for Bristol as Storm Eunice approaches land

ALSO READ: All Bristol First buses cancelled for fear of ‘flying debris’

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