// 17 stores to shut in M&S’ ongoing store closure programme
// 1000-plus staff affected
// Closures part of turnaround strategy, which includes target of 100 store closures by 2022
Marks & Spencer has announced the latest round of store closures as part of its ongoing turnaround strategy, with the stores affected putting 1000 jobs at risk.
The department store and food retailer’s turnaround includes a target of shutting down more than 100 shops by 2022.
Of these, 30 have already closed, an additional eight has previously been announced and today M&S confirmed another 17 stores earmarked for closure.
The affected tores are located in Ashford, Barrow, Bedford, Boston, Buxton, Cwmbran, Deal, Felixstowe, Huddersfield, Hull, Junction One Antrim Outlet, Luton Arndale, Newark, Northwich, Rotherham, Sutton Coldfield and Weston Super Mare.
The closures will lead to job losses, with 1045 staff at risk as M&S enters a consultation period with them.
“We’re continuing to transform M&S with pace and as part of this we are making good progress with our plans to close over 100 stores – radically reshaping our store estate to become more relevant for our customers,” M&S property director Sacha Berndji said.
“Proposing to close stores is never easy, for our colleagues, customers or the local community, but it is vital for the future of M&S.
“Where we have closed stores, we are continuing to see an encouraging number of customers choosing other nearby locations and shopping on M&S.com.”
The news comes less than a week after M&S recorded another quarter of declining sales, although it insisted its performance was “steady” and there were “encouraging early signs” as a result of its turnaround scheme.
Overall like-for-like sales at the retail bellwether dropped by 2.2 per cent, which was mainly dragged by a 2.4 per cent drop in like-for-likes from its clothing and home division.
The retailer attributed the results to the increasing pace of closures that came with the ongoing restructure.
The bellwether retailer’s turnaround scheme, which was first launched in 2016, aims to reshape the business and reduce costs by £350 million.
M&S said that to date, 1891 colleagues have been impacted by the store closure programme, with 1591 of those being redeployed to other areas within the business.