M&S could shut 20,000sq ft Covent Garden store

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Covent Garden Store

Marks & Spencer is reportedly planning to shut one of its major stores in Covent Garden as its business rates bill rises over 40 per cent.

According to the Evening Standard,  the retailer is in discussions with landlord The Mercers Company to pull the shutters on its 20,000sq ft store in the heart of London by in 2018.

The site includes a food hall, clothing department and café, employing around 125 staff who will reportedly be redeployed elsewhere in the retailer‘s estate.

A spokesman told the Evening Standard: “We‘re changing our UK store estate, opening new Food halls and Simply Food stores and improving our clothing and home stores.”

In April M&S revealed plans for a major overhaul of its estate, with eyes to shut six stores while opening 36 brand new outlets in the following six months.

This followed 500 job cuts at M&S head office this time last year.

The retailer has struggled to maintain its dominance on the high street of the past year, repeatedly being pulled up by its food sector while its clothing arm‘s popularity wanes.

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