// M&S warns landlords it will shut down loss-making stores
// Landlords now expect M&S to close down more than the 110 stores it has already earmarked as part of its turnaround scheme
// Landlords were reportedly given the warning by CEO Steve Rowe & chairman Archie Norman
Marks & Spencer landlords have been placed on high alert after the retailer’s bosses reportedly hinted that more stores than originally planned will shut down.
According to The Sunday Times, M&S chairman Archie Norman and chief executive Steve Rowe told property owners over a dinner event that it would close any under-performing sites across the UK.
The report indicated that landlords now expect M&S to close down more than the 110 stores it has already earmarked as part of its turnaround scheme.
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One of the main goals of retailer’s transformation plan is to downsize its UK portfolio of 1036 stores and increase online clothing sales.
M&S also invested £750 million into a joint venture with online grocer Ocado in a bid to make it food business available to customers online for the first time.
Last year, M&S revealed it would shut down 110 stores, comprising 85 full-line shops and 25 food stores.
However, Rowe conceded at the AGM in August that those plans were not final, leaving the door open for further closures.
Most of the 53 stores M&S has closed down since 2016 have been in secondary towns and cities.