Struggling high street retailer Marks & Spencer has today revealed the next 17 stores to shut as part of its restructuring plan, set to affect over 1,000 employees.
The 17 stores to close are 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.
M&S retail, operations and property director, Sacha Berndji, says: “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.”
The retailer has already shut 30 branches as it targets getting back on track, with the full 100 closures being the goal by 2022. “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,” Berndji continues. “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 17 stores announced today will impact 1,045 employees. M&S will now enter a period of consultation with those staff, with the intention of retaining as many people as possible. To date, 1,891 personnel have been impacted by the closure programme, with 1,591 being redeployed to other locations within the business (over 80%).
The high street bellweather retailer’s turnaround scheme, which was first launched in 2016, aims to reshape the business and reduce costs by £350m.