Feb 20, 2019 | By Sarah Housley
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May 22, 2018
By Nigel Taylor
Marks & Spencer announced Tuesday it will close 100 stores over the next four years. That ends widespread speculation ahead of its much-anticipated 12-month trading statement tomorrow that is expected to reveal further declines in its Clothing & Home division.
The latest closures announcement is part of M&S’s radical transformation plan that will see its UK store estate shrink as the retailer targets taking at least a third of sales online. The firm said it’s part of a wider five-year transformation plan “to make M&S special again”.
Those 100 closures include 21 already shuttered and a further 14 newly-named stores that are to cease trading under an accelerating Clothing & Home space closure programme.
Alongside relocations, conversions, downsizes and the introduction of concessions, “these closures will radically reshape M&S’s Clothing & Home space,” it said Tuesday.
The next 14 Clothing & Home stores closures include Bayswater, Fleetwood Outlet and Newton Abbot Outlet, which will close by the end of July. Clacton and Holloway Road, in London, will both close by early 2019 to coincide with new nearby Food stores openings.
Elsewhere, Darlington, East Kilbride, Falkirk, Kettering, Newmarket, New Mersey Speke, Northampton, Stockton and Walsall are proposed for closure, with the potential loss of 626 employees.
Under the transformation plan, M&S “has the ambition to create fewer, better Clothing & Home stores,”it said.
“These stores will be larger, digitally enabled, better located and more inspirational for customers to shop. They will also be supported by a seamless online experience across all digital channels including mobile and social, and by a conveniently located network of Food stores that offer customers a next-day collect in store service for Clothing & Home purchases.”
Sacha Berendji, Retail, Operations and Property Director at Marks & Spencer said: “We are making good progress with our plans to reshape our store estate to be more relevant to our customers and support our online growth plans. Closing stores isn’t easy but it is vital for the future of M&S. Where we have closed stores, we are seeing an encouraging number of customers moving to nearby stores and enjoying shopping with us in a better environment, which is why we’re continuing to transform our estate with pace.”
As Marks & Spencer invests in experience, read up on how retail spaces are driving consumers back to bricks-and-mortar-retailers in our WGSN Insight report, Retail Hosts: Creating New Community Hubs
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