Marks and Spencer to shut 100 United Kingdom stores

Lloyd Doyle
May 23, 2018

M&S has revealed that it will close 100 stores across the United Kingdom in the next four years - up from 60 six months ago. The closures are part of a plan announced in 2016 to slash the amount of shopfloor space devoted to its clothing and home ranges.

M&S would close more than 100 stores that sell both clothing and food by 2022, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

Another nine shops have been proposed for closure including Darlington, East Kilbride and Falkirk in Scotland, Kettering, Newmarket, New Mersey Speke, Northampton, Stockton and Walsall.

Online shopping accounts for 22% of non-food retail sales in the United Kingdom, according to the British Retail Consortium.

In total the high street giant has 1,035 stores in the United Kingdom, 300 large one containing clothing, home and food, 696 food halls and 39 outlet centres. All staff will be offered redeployment before redundancy is considered.

The retailer has announced a further 14 are proposed for closure under its accelerating Clothing and Home space programme.

M&S has previously described the food arm as exhibiting "ongoing under-performance", with chief executive Steve Rowe saying he will slow expansion of the Simply Food chain as the group battles to restore its high street fortunes.

Marks and Spencer store
GETTY REBRAND The company changed its name in honour of the Royal Wedding

The retailer wants to move a third of its sales online and have bigger stores but fewer of them.

At the time M&S said it would axe about 60 stores across the United Kingdom - possibly affecting around 2,000 jobs.

He said that where stores have already closed, "encouraging" numbers of consumers were now shopping at nearby stores.

It was accelerated a year later when Archie Norman, a retail veteran and former boss of Asda, arrived as chairman.

Sacha Berendji, retail, operations and property director at Marks & Spencer said: "Closing stores isn't easy but it is vital for the future of M&S".

"In 2018 GlobalData forecasts its shares will be 7.6% in clothing - virtually halving in two decades".

M&S shut six of their stores (Birkenhead, Bournemouth, Durham, Fforesfach, Putney, Redditch) in April and are now set to shut the remaining eight later in the year. But this was to be partly offset by as many as 15 new main stores and up to 200 more Simply Food outlets. It also has stores that boast fashion and homeware products.


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