M&S confirms more store closures
NamNews - Jan 17th, 08:41
Marks & Spencer confirmed the location of the next batch of stores it plans to close as part of its restructuring plans.
The struggling high street giant stated last year that it plans to shut 100 of its 300 ‘main’ stores by 2022 to allow it to focus on profitable sites and move a third of its sales online. M&S has already closed 30 stores and named another eight.
The next 17 stores which M&S now proposes to close are Ashford, Barrow, Bedford, Boston, Buxton, Cwmbran, Deal, Felixstowe, Huddersfield, Hull, Junction One Antrim Outlet, Luton Arndale, Newark, Northwich, Rotherham, Sutton Coldfield and Weston-super-Mare.
The latest plans will affect just over 1,000 staff who will now be involved in a consultation process before final decisions on each store are made.
Sacha Berendji, retail, operations and property director at M&S, said: “Proposing to close stores is never easy, for our colleagues, customers or the local community, but it is vital for the future of M&S. Where we have closed stores, we are continuing to see an encouraging number of customers choosing either nearby locations and shopping on M&S.com.”
Catherine Shuttleworth, CEO at shopper marketing agency Savvy, said the substantive nature of the M&S release wasn’t a surprise but questioned why the retailer didn’t reveal the plans last week in its results update.
She added: “The stores in the main are in secondary and tertiary high streets possibly with the exception of Hull – that store closure is a really big surprise. We understand that each store is being reviewed on the basis of the lease, profitability, sales performance, future investment and nearby stores. The nearest full store offer to Hull a city of 280k is Scunthorpe, at its most generous that’s a 45-minute journey away including a bridge crossing over the Humber."
“The statement shows that high streets remain under the most intense pressure and even M&S with its heritage and retail experience has to look at a redefined retail offer.”KamCity
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