Thursday 16 August 2018

Marks & Spencer to shut 100 stores

M&S, which has 18 stores here, has added more UK outlets to a growing list of those facing the axe. (PA)
M&S, which has 18 stores here, has added more UK outlets to a growing list of those facing the axe. (PA)

Sam Chambers

Marks & Spencer Group is accelerating plans to shrink its troubled UK retail network, adding 40 more stores to a list of pending closures, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Overall, M&S now plans to close about 100 stores that sell both clothing and groceries, up from a previous plan to shut 60, the person said. The new closures are expected to be announced this week.

The company has 1,035 stores in the UK, though nearly 700 of them sell only food.

In Ireland, it has 18 stores in the Republic and 19 in the North.

"We have been clear about M&S's plans to accelerate our store-closure program and the action we must take to build a business with sustainable, profitable growth," the company said in a statement. "But we would never comment on speculation of this kind."

Marks & Spencer shares rose as much as 1.8pc early Monday in London.

The changes are part of M&S's previously-announced plan to reduce its space devoted to clothing by 25pc.

The accelerated closures follow the appointment last year of Chairman Archie Norman, who's working alongside CEO Steve Rowe to try to revamp the UK's biggest apparel seller.

Fast-fashion retailer New Look and department-store chain House of Fraser are also seeking to shut dozens of stores as e-commerce sucks business away from UK shopping streets. (Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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