THE PROPOSED closure of the Marks & Spencer store in Bradford city centre has sparked an outpouring of sadness from Telegraph & Argus readers.

Yesterday's shock announcement that M&S plans to pull out of The Broadway prompted a huge reaction, with many hundreds of comments left on the T&A website and social media channels.

A genuine sense of loss came across in many of the comments, with worried observers wondering what the news might mean for Bradford's retail offer in future.

Some urged The Broadway and Bradford Council to pull out all the stops in an attempt to talk M&S into reconsidering. The Broadway said it had no communication about M&S's plans prior to the announcement.

The news was broken by the T&A yesterday afternoon.

Charlie Middlemiss, commenting on the T&A's Facebook page, said: "This is a real shame. I'm there regularly and can't imagine travelling out to Pudsey."

Eve White added: "It's the end of a era - bought all my clothes there and Darley Street for years. Hope the Halifax one is safe."

Michelle Clark-Evans said: "Such upsetting news for Bradford."

Pauline Wood said: "Bradford City of Culture next year. Plenty of visitors . Why would it close at this time?"X

Some questioned if The Broadway was the right setting for M&S, but Leah Mason was quick to jump to the defence of the shopping centre.

She said: "I beg to differ about someone saying that Broadway isn't attractive anyway.

"Broadway looked absolutely beautiful at Christmas, the lights looked amazing and crapped all over White Rose' shoddy effort.

"The layout is good and accessible and it still looks relatively new. Sadly I think in years to come, it will look more like John Street Market/Oastler Centre - a lot of the high street names will fold.

"If you really want to prevent this from happening then stop shopping on Amazon. Nope, I can't afford to either!"

Mirza Rahman said: “When I first came to Bradford in 1956 I found Woolworths and M&S side by side in Darley Street. Kirkgate Market was opposite side of the road.

"Bradford was a thriving city. What happened to the city I love?"

Sue Robinson said: "If M&S goes, we will have no decent shops in town now. Debernams going was bad enough."

Summing up the mood, Kathy Anderson simply said: "Heartbreaking."

Susie Smith said: "I've been going there, all of my life, from when it was at Darley Street. This is one of the only places left in Broadway, that my Mum and myself enjoy visiting!

"Bradford is such a mess now. The roadworks that will last until next year are a disaster, leading to endless traffic and look unsightly. I feel sorry for everyone, especially the elderly, who have fond memories of what an amazing place Bradford used to be!"

David Parry said: "It's a shame. I shop there often for food mainly. I would have no reason now to shop in Broadway anymore sadly. A large unit like this will be very hard to fill."

Mel Proctor said: “Gutted. I love M&S and shopped here many times and the only place n broadway I went to really ….but nothing lasts forever."

 Linda Sloane said: "Only reason I venture into bradford. Will be a great loss and will loose so many customers."

David Williams said: "Broadway and the council need to quickly talk M&S round, the city can ill afford to lose a quality retailer like this.

"Would be a massive loss, nowhere to buy decent food in the city centre. They can't let them walk away."

The role of M&S as an anchor tenant when The Broadway opened wasn't lost on some.

Stacey Illingworth said: "Helped them with the move to get it open. Now to hear this news. It’s another nail in the coffin of a doomed city."

David Wood said: "Originally ( Westfield ) Broadway said they couldn't open without M&S on board as a flagship store. Makes me wonder what store would fit the bill to keep the place going. Sports Direct maybe."

Emma Louise Powelly said: "Noo I love M&S."

Laura Pinkerton said: "Kind of not surprised I never seemed to find it busy. The food court was ok but the main store was always dead. Still it’s a shame."

Sharon Hodgson said: "This is devastating news! We need more people to visit Bradford as there is not a lot of shops left to visit!!!! I do not travel to other towns as I struggle. I spend a lot of money in Marks & Spencers and I feel it would be a great loss to Bradford and their dedicated customers! Really disappointed!"

Kathleen Tottie said: "Devastating news. I use that store every week."

Grace May said: "Bradford is not the right target market for M&S. There’s a reason bargain shops thrive there."