M&S to shut 100 stores in over­haul

The Myanmar Times - - International Business -

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. –

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