M&S could further radicalise store closure plan

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M&S stores

Marks & Spencer is reportedly considering a more radical approach to its property portfolio as it continues with its store closures as part of a turnaround strategy.

According to the Guardian, the advent of turnaround specialist Archie Norman joining as chairman has sparked speculation on whether M&S would make its approach to property even more radical.

Norman also believes the retailer needs to further slash prices on clothes, address the way too much of it is targeted at over-55s and find a way to bring younger shoppers back.

Last year M&S revealed a turnaround plan that included cutting down on shop floor space devoted to clothing by 10 per cent, closing down 30 “full-line” stores – which sell clothing, homewares and food – while another 45 would be downsized or turned into food shops.

However, since Norman joined it is thought that he has been working with chief executive Steve Rowe on a more extreme restructure plan.

Details may be revealed this week when M&S releases its interim results, in which it is expected to report a 10 per cent drop in first-half profits to about £201 million.

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