MARKS and Spencer has announced the closure of a flagship Scottish store.

The St Nicholas Street branch, just off the central Union Street in Aberdeen, will close in 2025, the company has announced.

It first opened 80 years ago, in February 1944.

SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn, the MP for Aberdeen South, described it as a “big blow”.

However, Marks and Spencer (M&S) said they will be investing £15 million in a planned expansion of the branch at Union Square, by Aberdeen station.

The retail firm has also pledged there will not be any loss of permanent jobs, as workers at the St Nicholas Street store are moved to an expanded Union Square outlet.

Rachel Rankine, the north-east regional manager for M&S, told the Press and Journal that the firm was aiming to create a “destination shopping experience”.

She said: “The scale of our investment is a vote of confidence in the future of retail in Aberdeen city centre.

“This will be a flagship store on the same scale as city centre stores in Birmingham and Liverpool.

“Where we have already invested in new formats, our customers have responded to the destination shopping experience.”

READ MORE: M&S to open new food hall in Scottish town as part of expansion plans

Sacha Berendji, operations director at M&S, said the changes in Aberdeen were part of a £30m package which represented the company’s “biggest ever investment in Scotland”.

Responding to the news, Flynn said: “Big blow for Union Street. Big boost for Union Square.

“Clear for so long that retail expectations have changed – it’s why Union Street must become a destination to live, work and socialise.

“Everyone needs to see this as an opportunity to deliver that vision, and quick.”

M&S will also be investing in Scottish stores in Largs, Dundee and Linlithgow.

In 2022, M&S announced plans to close one in four of its biggest stores across the UK.

As part of the five-year plan the retailer told investors that it aims to have 180 “full-line shops” down from the current 247 by early 2028, targeting “lower productivity” outlets.

In that same time, it plans to open an additional 104 Simply Food outlets as the retailer moves towards groceries over large clothing and homeware stores.