M&S announce store closures across the country

M&S announce store closures across the country

In a statement the British retailer said that prices will be slashed by an average of 24% with no compromise on the trusted, M&S quality and sourcing standards customers know and love. The retailer was hit by a one-off charge of £321 million from an expanded store closure programme, announced yesterday.

Shares in M&S have fallen 26% over the a year ago and the firm is in danger of being booted out of the FTSE 100 index.

"We have been clear about our plans to accelerate our store closure program and the action we must take to build a business with sustainable, profitable growth", an M&S spokesperson said.

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"These changes come with short term costs which are reflected in today's results".

The high-street chain which has a total of one thousand and thirty-five stores at the end of 2017-18 fiscal year, would be publishing its yearly results today. Worldwide sales fell 7.9 percent to 1,087.2 million pounds during the year while global profit before adjusting items more than doubled to 135.2 million pounds. "Accelerated change is the only option", said M&S.

Food revenue grew 3.9% in the year - though like-for-like sales slipped 0.3% - while Clothing & Home revenue fell 1.4% and was down 1.9% on a like-for-like basis. M&S attributed this decline to the planned removal of two clearance sales and unseasonal trading conditions during the second half of the year.

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A number of household names, including BHS, Maplin, Toys R Us and House Fraser have either gone into administration or been forced to close stores in a bid to boost profits and battle the rise of online shopping. M&S has managed to reduce costs by at least 350 million pounds and created a platform for growth.

The closures represent around a tenth of the clothing and food group's United Kingdom stores, as it grapples with weak consumer spending and intense competition from supermarkets, fashion chains like Zara and H&M as well as online giant Amazon. "The new organisation will largely be in place by July and the team is now tackling transforming our culture to make M&S a faster, lower cost, more commercial, more digital business", said Chief Executive Steve Rowe. "In both businesses we need to revitalise our ranges and reassert our reputation for value for money".

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