Marks and Spencer to close six stores

M&S storeImage copyright
PA

Marks and Spencer has named six stores which will close as part of chief executive Steve Rowe’s plans to improve the business.

The company said 380 staff would be affected but they would be guaranteed redeployment at a nearby store.

M&S will also open 36 new stores over the next six months, creating more than 1,400 jobs.

Mr Rowe explained the six closures by saying that M&S was adapting to its customers’ changing shopping habits.

The stores earmarked for closure are in Portsmouth, Slough, Warrington, and Wokingham, along with Simply Food stores in Monks Cross near York and Worksop.

In November, M&S said that following a “forensic review” of its store estate it was embarking on a five-year programme of store closures and openings.

The plans involve opening 200 new food-only stores, while selling clothing and homeware from 60 fewer stores.

Mr Rowe said on Thursday: “We will open new stores, some will reduce in size, some will move, some will close and others will convert to Food-only.”

M&S currently has 959 UK stores: 304 sell the full range of clothing, homewares and food; 615 are food only; and 40 are outlet stores which sell stock at a discount.

Like many other retailers, the High Street chain is grappling with changing shopping habits.

“Picking up food for now or tonight, rather than doing one big shop or browsing and shopping online and collecting in-store, are great examples of this,” said Mr Rowe.

“And we are committed to adapting our business so that we stay in tune with our customers.”

In September, M&S announced it would cut hundreds of jobs at its head office in London.

Marks and Spencer to close six stores

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