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Last Updated: Monday, 3 April 2006, 15:28 GMT 16:28 UK
Workers safe over store closures
Marks & Spencer shop front
The 86 staff will be offered jobs at the company's other local stores
Two Marks & Spencer stores in Kent are to close because the company says the branches are not commercially viable.

A period of consultation is under way before the 86 staff in the Chatham and Folkestone stores are offered other local jobs.

The head of Marks & Spencer's south division, Anthony Hemmerdinger, said: "I would like to thank the team for their commitment and excellent service.

"We have looked at every option to keep the stores open."

He added: "We will continue to welcome customers to our local stores at Hempstead Valley and Bluewater."

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