Rumours of store closures across the UK for Marks & Spencer have been confirmed this morning.
The retailer announced it would cut back 60 of its loss-making clothing and home stores as well as a proposed closure 53 overseas stores, leading to 2100 job cuts.
In a drastic step to shift the focus to its more successful food sector, the UK heritage retailer plans an overhaul of over 100 shops.
A solid figure for job cuts to its UK stores has not yet been confirmed, although it did confirm around 30 of its 304 full line stores will be shut and a further 45 will be downsized or converted in to Simply Food stores.
READ MORE: Marks & Spencer’s China stores risk closure
This comes amid a nearly 90 per cent fall in bottom-line profits to just £25.1 million in its half-yearly report for the six month period to October 1.
Underlying pre-tax profits also nose-dived 18.6 per cent and sales fell from 8.9 per cent in the first quarter to 2.9 per cent – the worst result in a decade.
The overhaul will also see a proposal to close 53 international stores across 10 markets close.
Ten stores are set to close in China along with seven in France, while the retailer is completely pulling out of Belgium, Hungary, Estonia and Lithuania.
Chief executive Steve Rowe confirmed the plans to open 200 more Simply Food outlets across the UK by 2019 during today’s announcement, reassuring investors that after the overhaul there will be even more stores overall.
“Over the next five years we will transform our UK estate with around 60 fewer clothing and home stores, whilst continuing to increase the number of our Simply Food stores,” Rowe said.
“In the future, we will have more inspiring stores in places where customers want to shop.
“These are tough decisions, but vital to building a future M&S that is simpler, more relevant, multi-channel and focused on delivering sustainable returns.”