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Marks and Spencer to close over 100 UK stores by 2022

RBR Staff Writer Published 23 May 2018

British retailer Marks and Spencer (M&S) plans to close more than 100 stores in the UK as it expands an existing store closure program.

Of the 100 stores, 22 have already been closed and the company announced 14 stores that are proposed for closure or set to shut down.

The closures are expected to radically reshape the company's clothing & home space, the company stated. Closure of the 22 stores resulted in job losses of about 900.

As part of the transformative programme, M&S plans to close down all the three of its Bayswater, Fleetwood Outlet and Newton Abbot Outlet by the end of this July. Clacton and Holloway Road will be closed down by early next year.

The company's stores in Darlington, East Kilbride, Falkirk, Kettering, Newmarket, New Mersey Speke, Northampton, Stockton and Walsall, all nine of which are proposed to be closed down will now enter a period of consultation. Closure of the fourteen stores will result in 626 job losses.

With this plan, M&S intends to pull back itself after experiencing years of falling sales and profits. The plan was announced 18 months ago, to close down number of stores dedicated to M&S’s clothing range.

Initially, the idea was to close down 30 stores, but the company decided to close down 100 stores, resulting in reduction of about 25% of floor space dedicated to apparel.

Marks & Spencer retail, operations and property director Sacha Berendji said: “We are making good progress with our plans to reshape our store estate to be more relevant to our customers and support our online growth plans. Closing stores isn’t easy but it is vital for the future of M&S.

“Where we have closed stores, we are seeing an encouraging number of customers moving to nearby stores and enjoying shopping with us in a better environment, which is why we’re continuing to transform our estate with pace.”

M&S has also cut back on its Simply Food chain, where it planned to open 40 new stores, but that number has now come down to 25.

Image: Marks and Spencer at Charlton. Photo: Courtesy of Marks and Spencer plc.