Published: Thu, May 24, 2018
Tech | By Constance Martin

M&S scales back convenience plans and plans to close 100 stores

M&S scales back convenience plans and plans to close 100 stores

They have been seeking to save costs through store closures and shutting distribution centres as part of a wide-ranging efficiency drive as the company's financial performance deteriorates.

Calum Telford, head of region for East Anglia at Marks & Spencer, said: "Proposing to close M&S Newmarket has been a hard decision".

M&S named 14 stores earmarked for closure this week, with 21 already having shut.

In five years' time more than 100 Marks & Spencer stores will have closed as part of the retailer's attempts to stem its decline.

Marks & Spencer now operates 1025 stores in the United Kingdom, with turnover respectively split 60%/40% between its food and clothing and home segments.

The closures will affect its clothing and home stores, which have under-performed for several years.

And more in Darlington, East Kilbride, Falkirk, Kettering, Newmarket, New Mersey Speke, Northampton, Stockton and Walsall are proposed to be axed.

The company confirmed on Monday a Sky News report that Katie Bickerstaffe, the outgoing boss of Dixons ‎Carphone in the United Kingdom, would join its board as new chairman Archie Norman seeks to bolster the retail expertise at its top table.

M&S store closure costs result in 62% annual profit plunge
M&S has launched a series of turnaround plans since the financial crisis - with clothing and home consistently dragging. Steve Rowe , an M&S lifer who has been CEO for two years, said the firm was taking steps to fix the structural issues.

"I would urge them to consider relocating the Fleetwood M&S store to Lord Street to safeguard local jobs, as well as offering the people of Fleetwood the opportunity to continue shopping in the heart of our community".

Sacha Berendji, retail, operations and property director at Marks & Spencer, added: "Closing stores isn't easy but it is vital for the future of M&S".

M&S also said 15 fewer owned Simply Food stores would open this year as its food opening programme is scaled back.

M&S has been losing share for more than two decades after achieving its peak clothing market share of 13.5% in the United Kingdom in 1997.

"In 2018 GlobalData forecasts its shares will be 7.6% in clothing - virtually halving in two decades".

M&S first said it would reposition its store estate in 2016 to reduce the amount of space devoted to clothing and home.

GlobalData has forecast that its clothing market share will be 7.6% this year - nearly halving in two decades - despite opening more stores selling clothing, homewares and food under the one roof.

"But in order to make its space more productive M&S has to produce a compelling offer showcased in an inspiring environment".

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