Marks and Spencer to close 35 more stores as it pushes forward with plans to axe 145 across the UK due to falling profits

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Marks and Spencer to close 35 more stores as it pushes forward with plans to axe 145 across the UK due to falling profits



SHOPPERS and M&S staff have been dealt a blow as the retailer has announced yet another round of shop closures after posting a 10 per cent drop in annual profits.
The retailer will axe or relocate 25 food stores across the UK, while it’s also closing an additional 10 clothing stores on top of the 110 closures already announced.
PA:Press Association M&S have posted losses of almost 10 per cent
M&S is yet to reveal which food branches are affected but the retailer says it is focusing on shutting or relocating 25 of its smaller, low volume stores.
It will, however, be opening 75 new larger food stores.
This will take place between now and April 2024.
Since November 2016 – when the restructuring plans were first announced – and March 30 2019, M&S has closed 35 clothing stores while a further 13 shut shop between April 1 and now.
These are the M&S stores that have closed since November 2016 (excluding stores that have been relocated)
Six of the branches that closed were relocated to nearby locations, such as moving from a high street location to a retail park store.
M&S says a further 72 clothing stores are ring-fenced for closure by April 2024 although it’s not yet announced which branches this will be.
Today’s announcement comes after the chain said it would be closing down 100 stores by the end of 2022 – so it now seems that it will take two years longer than its initial plan – and more stores are now part of the plans.
M&S has also cut a handful of outlet and food stores in the past two years but it says these were “business as usual” decisions and not part of its restructuring – see our full round-up of all the closures.
It adds that it has no plans to cut any outlet shops as part of the reshape.
The retail giant says it will try to redeploy affected staff where possible but refused to say how many could be impacted by the closures.
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In total over the 2018/19 financial year, M&S opened 48 new stores (47 food stores and one clothing store) bringing its total store numbers to 1,043 –  including 275 clothing stores, 34 outlets, and 734 food shops.
It comes after a plunge in full-year profits, the third straight decline, with sales across its clothing arm and food halls falling as a sweeping overhaul takes its toll.
The high street bellwether posted underlying pre-tax profits of £523.2million for the year to March 30, down from £580.9 million the previous year.
Boss Steve Rowe said there were “green shoots” of a turnaround, but added that performance was not consistent and had been hit by its store closure programme and wide-ranging revamp plan.
Which M&S stores have closed?HERE’S a full list of the M&S stores that have closed under its restructuring plans:
The 35 clothing stores that closed between November 2016 and March 31 2019: AndoverBasildonBirkenheadBournemouthBridlingtonClactonCovent GardenCrewe [Relocation]DarlingtonDoverDurhamEdgware BroadwalkFalkirkFalmouthFarehamFforestfachGreenock [Relocation]KeighleyKetteringKirkcaldyNew Mersey SpekeNewmarketNewry [Relocation]NorthamptonPortsmouthPutneyRedditchSloughSt Helens [Relocation]Stafford [Relocation]StockportStocktonWalsallWarringtonWokingham [Relocation]
The 13 stores that have closed between April 1 2019 and now:AshfordBedfordBostonBuxtonCwmbranDealFelixstoweHuddersfieldHullLuton ArndaleNewarkRotherhamWeston Super Mare

The group warned that it remained in the “difficult early stages” of its turnaround and progress will not come until the second half of 2019/20.
Comparable sales in its troubled clothing and homeware arm dropped 1.6 per cent after a 1.3 per cent fall in the final three months of the financial year, after it was hit by the timing of Easter and poor stock availability.
Like-for-like sales in its food halls fell 2.3 per cent following a 1.5 per cent decline in the fourth quarter, although this was also affected by the timing of Easter.
Mr Rowe said: “Whilst there are green shoots, we have not been consistent in our delivery in a number of areas of the business.
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“M&S is changing faster than at any time in my career – substantial changes across the business to our processes, ranges and operations – and this has constrained this year’s performance, particularly in clothing and home.
“However, we remain on track with our transformation and are now well on the road to making M&S special again.”
More than 1,000 people currently work across M&S’ clothing and home departments.
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