RHYL'S flagship Marks & Spencer store has closed its doors for the final time after more than 80 years trading in the town.
The retailer quit the resort last week after moving to the newly-opened Prestatyn Shopping Park creating 50 new jobs with staff at the Rhyl branch also transferring over to the new store.
Chris Ruane, MP for Vale of Clwyd, said: “Although it is obviously good news for Prestatyn that M&S has moved to the new retail park it is a great shame for Rhyl High Street that such a premier store has left.
“Sadly, high streets across the country are being hit hard by the economic downturn but I can assure residents and businesses in Rhyl that there is a lot of work going on behind the scenes.
“Together with local councillors, businesses and the Rhyl Town Centre Forum we have raised awareness and made progress on several issues.
“I appreciate that these are worrying times not just for Rhyl Town Centre but for high streets across the Vale of Clwyd and the country as a whole but we can all do our bit by supporting local shops whenever we can, and talking up the town and start celebrating our successes more.”
When news of M&S's decision to quit the town was announced a campaign was launched to help keep the store in the town.
Campaigners collected hundreds of signatures, created T-shirts and pledged to write to Prince William.
The Save M&S Rhyl from Closure Facebook page was also set up and the campaign resulted in the store remaining in the town for an extra 18 months.
Mr Ruane said: “I would like to thank everyone who campaigned to keep the store in Rhyl because without them the store would have closed 18 months or so ago and there was the possibility that the staff would not have been in a position to transfer over."
Rhyl town councillor Peter Williams said the loss of the store was a "devastating" blow for the town.
He said: "We have lost a major store, I hope it is not closed for long, if not we are going to end up as a ghost town.
"We need some big names in the town.
"Rhyl is a cracking town, and has lots to offer."
Marks and Spencer opened its doors on May 13, 1932 at 63 High Street.
It was extended in May 1936 and again in July of that year.
By 1961 the store was extended into the adjacent building and was extended further to include the whole of the distinctly black and white beamed “Tudor” style neighbouring building.
In October 1970 the rear of the store was extended, increasing the store sales area to 16,500 square feet.
A link to the White Rose Centre was opened on September 17, 1984, increasing the sales area to 17,200 square feet.
Here is what you think about the closure of Rhyl's M&S in comments taken from the Journal's Facebook page.
Bex Kilic said: "It's a shame that more and more shops are closed. We need to bring some life back to Rhyl, who wants to come here anymore? There is nothing to see."
Rachel Marler Wilson said: "More than anything else it is about pride in our town. I am happy for Prestatyn with their retail outlet, not begrudgingly either because it is about time. However, Rhyl is a town in its own right and it shouldn't be allowed to just deteriorate like this. "There isn't a lot here for holiday makers now and even the townspeople are going to have to shop outside of the town if there isn't appropriate shops in Rhyl."
Jacky Hills said: "Think it's sad the way Rhyl is full of empty shops, something needs to be done to bring it back to life. It's ok for those of us that drive, but what about the elderly with no transport, or families with several young children? Not so easy for them to jump on a bus to Prestsyn is it?"