SHOPPERS flocked to Poole’s Marks & Spencer store for the very last time as the shop closed its doors for good on Saturday.

Customers expressed their disappointment at the closing of the store which has been open for 50 years.

Poole resident Tricia Hercoe set up a petition after the closure was announced. Despite receiving more than 3,000 signatures, its goal of keeping the store open ultimately failed.

She said it was too sad to visit the store on the day of its closure, but instead went a few days before.

“I just can’t really understand why it is closing,” she told the Daily Echo.

“I find it too sad that today is the last day. I went two days ago and found it so upsetting.

“I have only actually lived in Poole for nine years but I have never lived somewhere where there is no Marks & Spencer.

“The closest now is Castlepoint but that’s just too far. I will probably shop online now but it’s not the same.

Read more: 'Mrs M&S' launches petition to save Poole store from closure

“Going into a store you can feel the material, hold the clothes up to yourself and get the right size.”

Mrs Hercoe has since set up a second petition to keep an M&S foodhall in Poole.

Arthur Whiteside, 70, was shopping in the store on its last day. He called for another retail unit to take its place.

He said: “It’s really sad. I’ve always come here with my wife and supported it for 30 years. I was stunned the store in Bournemouth closed but this is really sad.

“It’s a large unit, you’d ideally like another retail unit, you’ve got more coffee shops than you can shake a stick at.”

Wendy Wheeler, 79, described the closure as “wicked” and said it was “such a lovely store”.

She added: “Why do they have to close it? They have a lovely foodhall and you can come look around.

“Bournemouth is so vast you can never find what you want. Why is there only Beales and Primark to look around now?”

July Sarson, 71, said it was “tragic” and questioned why people would now want to visit Poole.

The store first opened in Poole in 1971. Following the announcement of its closure, Aaron Spicer, regional manager, said: “We appreciate that this will be disappointing news for some and we would like to thank all our customers who have shopped with us in the store.

“We will be working hard to keep serving them in our nearby local stores – including our Broadstone and Westbourne Foodhalls where customers can also click and collect shopping from M& and our Castlepoint store which offers a large range of M&S food and clothing and home products.”