Marks & Spencer is expected to announce this week that it is accelerating its programme of full-line store closures with analysts anticipating a further drop in profits when it announces its annual results this Wednesday.
M&S chief Steve Rowe had initially announced a closure plan for 60 “full line” (food, clothing & home stores) but is expected to up that number to 100. So far 20 stores have been closed with staff being redeployed to nearby stores.
The retailer is said to have been encouraged by the results of the store closures as many shoppers shifted their spend to nearby M&S stores if their nearest store had closed.
Since the arrival of new chairman and retail turnaround expert Archie Norman in September of last year, the business has taken a more aggressive stance to its restructuring as it attempts to lessen its exposure to its struggling clothing business and cope with the migration of consumers to online.
According to The Guardian, analysts are expecting the business to report pretax profits of £573m on Wednesday, down from £614m in 2017. Clothing & Home is expected to report sales down 1.1% with food dipping 0.2%.
City watchers will also be keeping a close eye on whether the retailer can retain its position as a FTSE 100 business as it risks falling out of the prestigious ranking. It has also recently been overtaken in market capitalisation terms, by online grocer Ocado and online fashion group ASOS, marking a significant shift in the structure and power-based of retail.