M&S to Close More Than 100 Stores Amid Online Push

M&S to Close More Than 100 Stores Amid Online Push

Of the 100 stores, 21 have already been shut and M&S has now revealed the location of 14 further sites to close. "Alongside relocations, conversions, downsizes and the introduction of concessions, these closures will radically reshape M&S's clothing and home space".

It comes a day after it announced it was closing 100 stores by 2022, accelerating a reorganisation that it says is "vital" for the retailer's future.

In a section entitled "Facing Facts", M&S CEO Steve Rowe said: "At our half year results we set out a hard-headed diagnosis of the headwinds faced by M&S and the change which is needed".

The company's stores in Darlington, East Kilbride, Falkirk, Kettering, Newmarket, New Mersey Speke, Northampton, Stockton and Walsall, all nine of which are proposed to be closed down will now enter a period of consultation.

Worldwide sales fell 7.9 percent to 1,087.2 million pounds during the year while global profit before adjusting items more than doubled to 135.2 million pounds.

It estimates a 0.4% drop in like-for-like sales in clothing and a 0.5% increase in like-for-like sales in food over the whole year.

"The business.is starting to make decisions that have arguably been needed for many years", said Shore Capital analyst Clive Black, who has a "hold" stance on M&S.

M&S profits plunge 62pc amid sweeping store closure plans

There are a number of structural issues to address and we are taking steps towards fixing these.

"And we're concentrating on tackling the culture of the business, making M&S a faster, lower cost and more commercial digital business".

Rowe said it was targeting sustainable, profitable growth in three to five years time.

In the final quarter of 2017, like-for-like (LFL) food sales in the United Kingdom declined 0.4% year-on-year, joining the Clothing & Home division in the ex-growth doghouse; the latter saw LFL sales decline 2.8% from a year earlier.

Then in November a year ago, three months after retail veteran Archie Norman joined as chairman, the firm said it would speed-up the programme.

They have been seeking to save costs through store closures and shutting distribution centres as part of a wide-ranging efficiency drive as the company's financial performance deteriorates.

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