The 130-year-old English store Marks & Spencer has been unable to resist the cold snap of the retail industry and will shut its 10 stores in China.
The 130-year-old English store Marks & Spencer has been unable to resist the cold snap of the retail industry and earlier said it will shut all of its 10 stores in the Chinese mainland.
Infact, it has been unable to acclimatize to the China market since its launch eight years ago, and so far, not many Chinese consumers know about the brand.
The UK home, food and clothing store announced this week its store closure plans, as the company has continued to post heavy losses in its international business.
The high street seller will consult with the 441 affected staff members about their jobs, and hopes that the both sides can reach a consensus on the termination of contracts. In terms of when the closures will take place, the company said it still needs several months, and didn’t disclose any further details, mainland fashion news website Nofashion.cn reported.
Nevertheless, the rapid growth of e-commerce in the Chinese mainland was the last straw for Marks & Spencer.
he company said it will temporarily keep its online stores on Tmall.com and JD.com, two of the largest online shopping websites in China, and considers online shopping will be the best option forChinese consumers to buy its products.
“The market reaction of foreign department stores is not sharp enough. The local stores usually listen to their global headquarters, but most headquarters are not familiar with the commercial culture and spending mentality in China, therefore their business strategies often can’t match the market trends,” said Zhao Ping, deputy director of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, which is under the Ministry of Commerce.
Cathy Chen, a shopper in her 30s, is familiar with the brand, as she lived in the UK before. She knows the retailer is about to shut down its Chinese mainland stores, and came to see if there was anything worth buying.
“I often shop at theMarks& Spencer store at The Place in Beijing, which was opened last year. But I mainly buy food and rarely buy any clothes, as the designs are a bit old-fashioned,” she said.
Adam Colton, managing director of Marks & Spencer Greater China, said the group can’t continue local operations in the Chinese mainland, as it has been suffering losses.
Nevertheless, he said the group sawa booming business inHong Kong andMacao, and Hong Kong has always been one of the major overseas markets for the brand.
In its latest corporate restructuring that will axe 53 overseas stores, the UK retailer will maintain its operations in Hong Kong, as the international franchises and stores in HongKong have been profitable with strong brand awareness, the company said in a statement.
“In Hong Kong, we have an established presence with 26 stores, and our customers have embraced our quality, innovative clothing and food products,” Colton said.
The menswear section of a Marks & Spencer store in Beijing.