Marks & Spencer reveals store closure plans
Marks & Spencer is gearing up to close 14 stores, as the struggling retailer makes "vital" omnichannel changes.
This is part of a plan to pull the plug on 30 UK stores, convert 45 more into food-only outlets and cut back on floor space devoted to clothing. Six will go by the end of April: Birkenhead, Bournemouth, Durham, Fforestfach, Putney and Redditch, with all staff moving to nearby locations. A further eight are proposed for closure, affecting 468 staff.: Andover, Basildon, Bridlington, Denton (outlet), Falmouth, Fareham, Keighley and Stockport. If this goes ahead, employees will be redeployed or offered redeployment elsewhere before redundancy is considered.
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M&S, which currently has 1,025 stores in the UK, is also reducing its Simply Food opening programme. It now only plans to open a total of 36 owned and franchise stores over the next six months. These will sell M&S food and drink and offer Collect in Store for clothing and home. Two stores are also due to relocate – Newry, (Northern Ireland), and Dover, (Kent), which will also convert from a Clothing and Food outlet to a Foodhall.
Sacha Berendji, Director of Retail, says: “We’re committed to transforming M&S for our customers, colleagues and shareholders. Stores will always be an integral part of our customer experience, alongside M&S.com, but we have to ensure we have the right offer in the right locations. We don’t want any colleagues to leave M&S and we will work with each colleague individually on what is best for them as we endeavour to give everyone a role. However, we accept in some cases we may have to consider redundancy. We believe these changes are vital for the future of M&S and we will continue to accelerate the programme, taking tough but necessary decisions, as we focus on making M&S special.”