M & S will close 100 stores in the United Kingdom by 2022



LONDON (Reuters) – British retailer Marks & Spencer said on Tuesday it would close more than 100 stores in its local market by 2022, accelerating a program to remodel its store as more online sales move.

A sign outside a Marks and Spencer branch in central London, Great Britain, on November 3, 2017. Photo taken on November 3, 2017. REUTERS / Toby Melville

The The figure includes 21 that have already been closed and 14 stores recently identified for closure.

M & S said for the first time that it would reposition its store property in 2016 to reduce the amount of space dedicated to clothing and home.

Then, in November of last year, three months after veteran retailer Archie Norman joined as president, the firm said it would accelerate the program. He said he had not lost as many customers as expected when the stores closed, which made them faster and more viable closures.

Tuesday's announcement represents another step in the plan.

"Along with relocations, conversions, cuts and the introduction of concessions, these closures will radically change the clothing and domestic space of M & S," the company said.

The last stretch of closures will have an impact on 626 employees. All staff will be offered a redistribution before considering redundancy.

"Closing stores is not easy, but it is vital to the future of M & S," said retail director Sacha Berendji.

M & S also said that 15 less-owned Simply Food stores will be opened this year as their food opening program is further reduced.

Shares in M ​​& S, up 24 percent in the last year, fell 1.6 percent at 0924 GMT.

Information by James Davey, Edition by Paul Sandle and Alistair Smout

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