FEARS over the future of the city's retail parks have been raised following Marks and Spencers' decision to abandon plans for a new food hall in Botley.

The firm has opted against opening the new store at Seacourt Tower, off the Botley Road, as revealed in today's Oxford Mail.

It is the latest blow to the city's retail parks which have said goodbye to a number of high street stores over recent months, leaving some the parks littered with vacant units. 

Here we look at the changing face of Oxford's retail parks.

Toys R Us

Oxford Mail:

In April, Toys R Us closed the last of its 75 UK stores, including the branch at Botley Road Retail Park, after going into administation in March.

The retailer held a closing down sale which saw huge queues at check outs as families scrambled to bag a bargain.

Oxford Mail:


Oxford Mail:

Electronics retailer Maplin also entered administration in March announcing the closure of its 217 stores nationwide.

The firm's store at the Botley Road Retail Park closed in the spring after calling in PwC when attempts to rescue the chain failed.


Oxford Mail:

Most recently, Mothercare announced it will be packing up and quitting Oxford as part of a major ‘transformation plan’.

The child and parent retailer's store at Oxford Retail Park, in Cowley, is expected to close its doors for the last time in September.

The store held a 'massive' closing down sale earlier this month, which again led to long queues at checkouts.

Costa drive-thru

Oxford Mail:

It hasn't all been closures at Oxford's retail parks however, with a new Cost coffee drive-thru opening recently at Seacourt Tower, off Botley Road.

It is the second such outlet to open in Oxford this year after the coffee chain opened another drive-thru at Headington Retail Park.