Monday, November 7, 2016


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Marks & Spencer to shut UK stores in shop shake-up

Marks & Spencer has said that it is reviewing its store estate and is expected to announce a shake-up next week at results
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Marks & Spencer is poised to shut dozens of shops in Britain and refashion some of its stores into its more successful Simply Food outlets as it struggles to turn the business around.
M&S’ vast portfolio of stores has been described by senior sources as one of the biggest “headaches” facing the company, as it owns more shops than most of its retail rivals.
The company has 914 stores in the UK, of which just 302 have space dedicated to clothing. It has a further 468 stores abroad. M&S still plans to open another 200 Simply Food stores within the next three years.

The retailer is understood to be considering closing its flagship stores in France along with the bulk of its Chinese operations.
Marks & Spencer trumpeted its return to France in 2011 after a 10-year absence by opening its flagship store on the Champs Elysee. But it pays high rents on both this store and another shop near the Eiffel Tower.
Meanwhile the company opened its first shop in China in 2008 but closed five smaller regional shops last year to focus on Shanghai and its online business on the e-commerce websites Tmall and
It is understood that M&S is committed to retaining its Hong Kong shops.
The shake-up marks the second part of a highly anticipated turnaround plan by Steve Rowe, who was promoted to the role of chief executive earlier this year. Just two months into his tenure, Mr Row abandoned plans to open a major store in Amsterdam commissioned by his Dutch predecessor Marc Bolland, which analysts had referred to as a “vanity project”.
Steve Rowe
Steve Rowe
In May, Mr Rowe said that the European business was producing “unsatisfactory results”, particularly in the shops it owned in Western Europe where currency pressures had a big impact on its profitability.
One top 10 shareholder said that he was supportive of management’s efforts and likened Mr Rowe’s turnaround plan to Morrisons, which has shut a number of stores and restructured the business to put its focus on its core supermarket business.