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Marks & Spencer announces radical transformation plan

A few weeks after iconic British department store, House of Fraser, announced plans to restructure and renegotiate rents, Marks & Spencer has announced its intention to close over 100 outlets by 2022 as part of a ‘radical transformation plan’ that will see fewer but better stores.

The figure includes 21 M&S branches which have already closed and 14 more, recently announced, are earmarked for immanent closure. The transformation is aimed at reviving the M&S Clothing & Home offering. The next 14 stores set to close include:

Bayswater, Fleetwood, Newton Abbot, Clacton, Holloway Road, Darlington, East Kilbride, Falkirk, Kettering, Newmarket, New Mersey, Speke, Northampton, Stockton and Walsall.

626 employees will be affected, all of whom will be offered the chance for redeployment before redundancy.

Sacha Berendji, retail, operations and property director at M&S, said: “We are making good progress with our plans to reshape our store estate to be more relevant to our customers and support our online growth plans. Closing stores isn’t easy but it is vital for the future of M&S. Where we have closed stores, we are seeing an encouraging number of customers moving to nearby stores and enjoying shopping with us in a better environment, which is why we’re continuing to transform our estate with pace.”

M&S says its “radical” plans are part of a five year transformation that will see fewer but better stores.