Marks and Spencer social media image in Northampton causes upset

Some people weren't happy about the location of an M&S promotional picture in Northampton [Photos: Getty]

Marks and Spencer has been causing a buzz on social media after it was called out for staging a promotional photoshoot of a model posing near one of its closed stores.

The high street retailer shared the shot of one of its ‘Insiders’, employees who promote the brand via social media, outside Northampton's Guildhall on its Facebook page.

The image features, Patrycja, who works in the Rugby branch of the retailer, posing outside the historic building in a mustard, floral dress.

While many used the comments to praise the picturesque location and the outfit, some locals pointed out the setting for the shoot was just a few minutes walk from a now-closed branch.

The store in Abingdon Street, just a few hundred yards from the Guildhall image location, closed last August.

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“Lovely picture in a town you don’t think deserves a store !!!!!!!!” one user wrote.

“Gorgeous dress. And the setting is lovely. My home town. However we don't have an M&S anymore as you closed it. Ooops,” another commented

“So you close the Northampton store but you'll happily use our Guildhall for promo shots?” another user added.

But others were quick to step in and defend the retailer.

“I don’t think it was a case of ‘you don’t deserve a store’ you had a store it wasn’t used to it’s full potential,” one user commented.

“Why should they get backlash for closing a store that people didn’t realise how lucky they where to have it right on their doorstep.”

“The staff member lives there and she took the photo for her own Instagram account. M&S don’t take these photos,” another pointed out.

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An M&S spokesperson said this particular model forms part of a team of employee influencers and actually lives near the area the image was taken, which was likely selected as it was a great spot.

"Customer shopping habits are changing so as part of our transformation plan we're reshaping our store estate to meet the needs of the today's customers,” an M&S spokesperson told Yahoo UK.

“Reshaping in towns such as Northampton isn't easy, and we recognise the impact it has on the community, but reshaping is vital for M&S and the 80,000 colleagues it employs.”

They went on to point out that though it is always a difficult decision to close a store, there are a number of options available for customers locally.

“We continue to serve customers from our stores in the region including Sixfields Northampton Simply Food, Rushden Lakes, Milton Keynes and Rugby, as well as on M&S.com."