Marks & Spencer plans to close up to 14 stores in the UK

Business, Employment | Wed 31 Jan | Author – Business & Finance
Retail

The news will see nearly 500 job cuts ensue and six shop closures by April.

Marks & Spencer (M&S) stores in the UK such as Bournemouth, Birkenhead and and Durham will be among the six to shut. Staff have been offered jobs in nearby stores.

If the plan goes forward and the 14 stores shut, over 460 staff will be affected. It follows a poor Christmas period where both food and clothing sales dropped.

The six stores to close by April are Bournemouth, Birkenhead, Durham, Fforestfach in Swansea, Putney and Redditch. The eight additional stores that have been mentioned for closure are Andover, Basildon, Bridlington, Denton outlet store, Falmouth, Fareham, Keighley and Stockport.

The Retail Operations Director, Sacha Berendji, said: “Stores will always be an integral part of our customer experience, alongside M&S.com, but we have to ensure we have the right offer in the right locations.”

Berendji went on to say that most of the affected staff will be offered jobs elsewhere but “in some cases [M&S] may have to consider redundancy”.

Experts are saying as well as a poor Christmas showing for the retail outlet, factors such as the rise in rates and higher staff costs are causing major disruptions.

M&S also announced plans to open 36 Simply Food shops, far fewer than originally planned. The company in total has 1,205 stores in the UK with 302 being clothing, home and food shops; 684 food-only stores; and 39 outlets.