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M&S to close 100 stores across the UK by 2020

No Irish stores will be affected as part of the move.

File photo.
File photo.
Image: Nick Ansell

UK RETAILER MARKS and Spencer has announced that it will shut more than 100 “underperforming” UK stores in an ongoing restructuring of the company.

The high-street chain has expanded its closure plans as it aims to shift at least a third of sales online, the group announced in a statement.

The London giant did not specify the number of job losses – but thousands of positions are believed to be at risk, according to media.

“M&S will now close over 100 stores in total by 2022, including 21 that have already closed and the 14 stores that are announced today as proposed for closure or set to close,” the company said.

No Irish stores will be affected as part of the move.

When asked whether the announcement will affect its Irish branches, an M&S spokesperson said:

It is a UK programme. It would include Northern Ireland but not Ireland.

M&S had in November 2016 launched a five-year overhaul of its UK stores amid fierce competition from supermarkets and budget garment chain Primark (Penneys in Ireland) – as well as online giants like Amazon. The restructuring was accelerated last last year.

“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,” said Sacha Berendji, M&S retail, operations and property director.

The retailer, which had a total of 1,035 stores at the end of its 2017/2018 financial year, will publish its annual results tomorrow.

© AFP 2018 With reporting from Cormac Fitzgerald

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