M&S to shut 100 stores in overhaul
BRITISH retailer Marks and Spencer will shut more than 100 stores, among them many foreign shops including its Champs Elysees branch in Paris, in order to cut costs after posting a first-half loss.
M&S, a barometer of UK consumer demand, said it would close around 60 food and home stores in Britain over the next five years.
The company also plans to shutter 53 of its international branches – signalling its exit from its loss-making owned stores in 10 nations.
The group has begun consultations over the proposals with the staff, which include 517 workers in France, but no time frame was given for the branch closures.
“We have now completed a forensic review of our estate both in the UK and in our international markets,” said chief executive Steve Rowe in a results statement.
“These are tough decisions, but vital to building a future M&S that is simpler, more relevant, multichannel and focused on delivering sustainable returns.”
As part of the overhaul, M&S will slash the number of directly owned stores in order to focus on joint ventures and franchise partnerships.
M&S will also shutter its stores in Belgium, China, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.
The group’s performance in Britain was hit meanwhile by sliding sales of clothing and home goods.
M&S posted a loss after taxation of £58 million (US$72 million) for the first half of its financial year, or 26 weeks to October 1. That compared with a net profit of £140.6 million a year earlier. –