- Vivian Hendriksz |
Marks & Spencer has earmarked 14 more UK stores for potential closure as it continues to restructure its UK store estate in line with its wider turnaround plan and aim to capture a third of its sales online.
M&S is set to close over 100 stores by 2022, including 21 stores which have already closed and the 14 stores proposed for closure. In addition to store relocations, conversions, downsizing and the introduction of store concessions, the struggling department store is confident that these closures will help "radically reshape" its clothing & home space, according to a press release.
"Closing stores isn’t easy but it is vital for the future of M&S"
"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," said Sacha Berendji, Retail, Operations and Property Director at Marks & Spencer. "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."
The 14 clothing & home stores set to close, or proposed for closure in 2018-2019 include Baywater, Fleetwood Outlet and Newton Abbot Outlet, all of which will shut by the end of July this year. Stores in Clacton and Holloway Road will close by early 2019, coinciding with the opening of new nearby Food store openings.
In addition, nine stores in Darlington, East Kilbride, Falkirk, Kettering, Newmarket, New Mersey Speke, Northampton, Stockton and Walsall are proposed for closure. These stores will now enter a period of consultation with all of 626 affected employees and if the stores close, M&S will ensure all workers would be redeployed or offered redeployment at other stores before considering redundancy.
Marks & Spencer to close 100 UK stores by 2022
Marks & Spencer's acceleration of its UK store estate restructuring is said to be part of the department store group's broader five-year transformation scheme to position itself as a leading store. Under the plan, M&S aims to offer fewer yet better clothing & home stores in prime locations with digital enhancements to improve the shoppers' overall journey.
Future M&S clothing & home stores will also be supported by a seamless online experience across all digital channels, including mobile and social as well as a conveniently located network of Food stores which offer shoppers a next-day collect in store service. Marks & Spencer has close 21 UK stores since the announcement of its store estate programme in November 2016, including 18 store closures and three relocations to new sites.
In addition, M&S has closed one food store, one outlet and two stores which acted as satellites to a larger store. On the other hand, the department store group has also opened three new clothing & home stores since its store estate programme in Aberystwyth, Bracknell and Rushden Lakes, converted one outlet store to a food only store and downsized three other stores in Solihull, Pudsey and Bath.
Photos: Courtesy of Marks & Spencer