United Kingdom retailer M&S says to shut more than 100 stores

Cesar Mills
May 23, 2018

M&S is expected to report a second straight fall in annual profit on Wednesday, and with the retailer's shares down almost a quarter over the previous year it is in danger of soon being booted out of the FTSE 100 index. 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.

As of the end of March, the retailer had 1,035 United Kingdom stores, made up of 300 clothing, home and food stores, 696 food-only stores and 39 outlets.

News of these store costs comes just a day after M&S said it will scale back its food store opening programme and will now open 15 fewer stores than planned in the year ahead.

Shares in M&S have fallen 26 percent over the past year and the firm is in danger of being booted out of the prestigious FTSE 100 index.

The radical change in how consumers buy their clothes today is why M&S is hanging by its fingernails onto the top spot as the UK's largest clothing retailer, where it now commands just over 8% of the market, and others have to make themselves distinctive in either inventory, price, or both, to stay ahead. Is now well under way and the actions taken have increased the velocity of change running through our business.

United Kingdom retailer M&S says to shut more than 100 stores

However, the M&S boss highlighted that these changes come with costs, which were reflected in Wednesday's results.

"Developments in the retail industry since then have reinforced our conviction about the need for the transformation of M&S", said the group in a statement.

The moves are part of a transformation plan created to modernise the business as it looks to improve its systems and recover lost market share among younger shoppers. "Changes in the high street and migration online mean that we have to be decisive with our store estate, renewing and closing stores more quickly".

The high-street chain, which has already shut 21 branches as part of the overhaul, yesterday expanded its closure plans as it aims to shift at least a third of sales online.

He added: "There are a number of structural issues to address and we are taking steps towards fixing these. 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.

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