More M&S stores face prospect of closure
UK retailer Marks & Spencer has announced today (31 January) that six of its stores will be closing by the end of April and a further eight stores are now “proposed for closure”.
The six stores due to close in the next few months are located in Birkenhead, Bournemouth, Durham, Fforestfach, Putney and Redditch. In its official statement about the closures, M&S said all colleagues will be moving to nearby stores.
The eight stores proposed for closure are located in Andover, Basildon, Bridlington, Denton (Outlet), Falmouth, Fareham, Keighley and Stockport. According to M&S: “468 colleagues are affected by the proposals and will now enter a period of consultation. Should these stores close, in the first instance all colleagues would be redeployed or offered redeployment at other stores before redundancy is considered.”
Meanwhile, M&S said that it has also “reassessed and reduced” its Simply Food opening programme, and now only plans to open a total of 36 owned and franchise stores over the next six months.
Sacha Berendji, Director of Retail at Marks & Spencer said, “Stores will always be an integral part of our customer experience, alongside M&S.com, but we have to ensure we have the right offer in the right locations.
“We don’t want any colleagues to leave M&S and we will work with each colleague individually on what is best for them as we endeavour to give everyone a role. However, we accept in some cases we may have to consider redundancy.”
M&S currently has 1,025 stores in the UK: 302 Clothing, Home and Food, 684 Food-only and 39 Outlets.
Earlier this month, the UK’s biggest supermarkets, Tesco and Sainsbury’s, both announced that staff cuts were on the cards as a result of operational restructuring. All the retailers are having to review their bricks-and-mortar assets as a growing share of their business moves online.