Marks & Spencer this week said well-placed stores would remain a key part of its multichannel business, as it announced plans to close 14 branches as part of its modernisation programme.
The retailer said it would close six by the end of April, and start consultation on the closure of a further eight. The closures are part of a longer-term strategy to cut 25% of the amount of space dedicated to clothing and home products through a combination of closures, downsizes, relocations and conversions to food-only stores.
Sacha Berendji, director of retail at Marks & Spencer [IRDX RMAS] said: “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.”
At the same time, M&S plans to open 36 new Simply Food stores offering multichannel Collect in Store services alongside food and drink.
In total around 468 staff are affected by the proposals. In total, M&S has 1,025 stores in the UK including