- Prachi Singh |
Marks and Spencer Plc (M&S) today announced that as part of its transformation plan, the company intends to reposition 25 percent of clothing & home space through a combination of closures, downsizes, relocations and conversions to food-only stores. The company said, six stores at Birkenhead, Bournemouth, Durham, Fforestfach, Putney and Redditch, will close by the end of April, and a further eight stores at Andover, Basildon, Bridlington, Denton, Falmouth, Fareham, Keighley and Stockport are proposed for closure. M&S added that 468 employees across the company’s stores will be affected and will now enter a period of consultation.
Commenting on the development, Sacha Berendji, Director of Retail at Marks & Spencer said in a statement: ““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.”
M&S has also reassessed and reduced its Simply Food opening programme, and now only plans to open 36 owned and franchise stores over the next six months. New locations will include Broadstone, Streatham Hill and St Albans. These stores will sell M&S food and drink and offer collect in store for clothing & home. Two stores will also be relocated and converted from a clothing and food store to a Foodhall.
This update follows M&S’s announcement in November that it is accelerating its UK store estate plan after the better than expected levels of sales transfer from closures and plans to grow online sales. M&S currently has 1,025 stores in the UK: 302 clothing, home and food, 684 food-only and 39 outlets.