Beloved British retailer closing 100 stores

Marks & Spencer plans to shut dozens over stores over the coming years and relocate convert and downsize others

Marks & Spencer Group plans to close about one-third of its large United Kingdom stores over the next four years, as the retailer belatedly adapts to the rise of e-commerce.

Marks & Spencer (M&S), one of the best known names in United Kingdom retail, first said it would reduce the amount of store space devoted to clothing and homewares in 2016, shortly after company lifer Steve Rowe became chief executive.

The British retailer says these closures are necessary for the evolvement of the brand with 14 stores to close over the next year.

Making the announcement today, a spokesman said more and more sales were moving online which has contributed to the decision.

The retailer listed the 14 locations - saying its Bayswater store and Fleetwood and Newton Abbot outlets would shut their doors for the final time by the end of July.

Another nine shops have been proposed for closure including Darlington, East Kilbride and Falkirk in Scotland, Kettering, Newmarket, New Mersey Speke, Northampton, Stockton and Walsall.

Marks & Spencer retail, operations and property director Sacha Berendji described the closures as not easy, but "vital for the future of M&S".

The chain now has 300 clothing and home stores in the United Kingdom and just shy of 600 Simply Food outlets - the majority franchise-owned.

Online shopping accounts for 22% of non-food retail sales in the United Kingdom, according to the British Retail Consortium.

M&S profits plunge as transformation costs hit
They show that the company continues to focus on rapid change, with significant short-term costs being recorded. In both businesses we need to revitalise our ranges and reassert our reputation for value for money.

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.

Speaking to Extra.ie, a Marks & Spencer spokeswoman said no Irish stores were being closed and refused to speculate on potential future closures. If the stores do close, the employees will be redeployed or offered redeployment before redundancy.

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.

Maureen Hinton, from analytics firm GlobalData, said M&S was "perilously close" to losing its top spot in the United Kingdom clothing market to Primark.

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

"We've seen a much better retention rate than we expected", M&S said.

M&S has already closed 21 stores in a restructuring programme to reduce space devoted to clothing and home it first outlined in 2016.

The convenience cuts mean 25 small format food stores will open this year, compared to the 40 previously planned.

Related News:



Most liked

Venezuela election: Maduro expels top United States diplomat
But North Korea, at least, sent Maduro a hearty congratulations. "What happened in Venezuela on Sunday is truly freakish ". Vice President Mike Pence called the election " a sham - neither free nor fair ".

Manchester turns to music to mark one year anniversary of terror attack
The singer has paid tribute to victims of the attack, including the youngest, Saffie Roussos , who would have turned 9 last July. Episcopal bishop Michael Curry's sermon at Saturday's royal wedding: "As a clever bishop said 'there is power in love'".

US Issues Alert in China 'Abnormal Sensations of Sound'
China's Foreign Ministry and National Health Commission did not immediately respond to faxed questions about the report. The US has held Cuba responsible, either for allowing the suspected attacks to happen or for carrying them out itself.

Battlefield V Short Clip Offers Slight Insight On Factions And Squad Spawns
Battlefield 5 (officially titled Battlefield V ) is an upcoming first-person shooter for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One . And it appears the reports concerning the Battlefield 2018 release being set during WW2 have been proven true.

Oil prices caught between U.S. policies on Iran, China
Sanctions on Iran is likely to take away 500,000 barrels a day from the country's 2,400,000 barrels a day production. And it follows a rise in prices and a decline in global inventories that is making tighter supply more significant.

Lawmakers take first step in stopping a Trump deal with ZTE
Now, however, members of the administration have signaled that the terms of ZTE's punishment are up for negotiation. The Pentagon has already banned ZTE products from being sold on American military bases.

Sweden Telling All Its People How to Prepare for War
The leaflet also includes advice on how to spot propaganda, find a bomb shelter and get clean water. But worryingly, the booklet advises that if the country is attacked, it will "never give up".

Iran to keep forces in Syria upon Assad's request
Engaging in a protracted war with Israel in Syria would distract these efforts and strengthen Iran's hardliners. But unlike Israel and its Arab neighbours, the two countries have never had a direct confrontation.

'Facsist police': In TN's Tuticorin, anti-Sterlite protest turns violent
Sterlite Copper, the company at the centre of the controversy, now operates a 400,000-tonne per annum unit in the city. Protesters also ransacked the Collector's office, with black smoke engulfing the area, as demonstrators burnt tyres.

Stoke confident of appointing Derby's Gary Rowett as manager
And they are now aiming to appoint a new manager as they look to return to the top flight at the soonest possible opportunity. Stoke were relegated from the Premier League this season and will play alongside Derby in the Sky Bet Championship next term.

Syria Army Resumes Offensive in South Damascus
On the eve of Syria's civil war it was a built-up residential area home to tens of thousands of Palestinians and Syrians . The battles for Yarmouk and Hajr al-Aswad left both neighbourhoods catastrophically damaged.

Iran rejects US' threatening remarks against its nuclear programme
At the same time, Pompeo offered Iran a series of dramatic potential USA concessions if it agrees to make "major changes". Rob Manning on Monday said the US will take all necessary steps against Iran's alleged malicious activities in the region.

Jailed British-Iranian faces new charge
During her conversation with Macaire, she pleaded that he and the UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson visit her in prison. A Foreign Office spokeswoman said it would not provide a running commentary on "every twist and turn" in the case.

North Korea prepares to dismantle nuclear test site
The North Koreans have sent mixed messages on denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. "There was no deal to maintain Qaddafi". But he now enters a White House meeting with President Donald Trump with his status in the diplomatic driver's seat in doubt.

Israel launches world's FIRST strikes with 1200mph supersonic F-35 fighter jets
It was seemingly the first time Israel attributed an attack directly to Iran rather than its proxies. Iran has hundreds of personnel in Syria, who it says serve as military advisers to the Syrian army.