Marks and Spencer set to close 40 more stores

Marks and Spencer set to close 40 more stores

Marks and Spencer set to close 40 more stores

According to reports, M&S will announce which of its 140-strong full-store network will close on Wednesday UK time, adding to the 20 already shuttered.

M&S back in November 2016 introduced a five-year restructuring plan of its United Kingdom stores in mid of the aggressive competition from supermarts and budget garment chain-Primark, as well as from the online giants like-Amazon.

At the end of 2017/18 M&S had 1,035 stores in the United Kingdom, with 300 clothing, home and food, 696 food-only and 39 outlet stores.

Excluding the restructuring charge, the stores group's adjusted pre-tax profit was down 5.4% to £580.9mln from £613.8mln a year ago, weighed by a 140 basis points drop in the food gross margin as a result of a weaker pound pushing up input cost inflation.

M&S said that reflected weaker food margins and like-for-like sales falling 0.9% in its core United Kingdom market. Comparable food sales were down 0.3 per cent. Revenue nudged up 0.7 per cent to £10.7 billion.

"These, together with a challenging United Kingdom consumer market, mean that we have to modernise our business to ensure we are competitive and reignite our culture".

United Kingdom retailer Marks and Spencer (M&S) has announced its intention to close 100 stores in total by 2022, as it reshapes its estate in line with its target to take at least a third of sales online. In addition, the group is set to close 25 percent of its Clothing & Home space to as sales shift online and investing to increase and improve its commerce capacity to support its aim to double its online sales to more than 33 percent.

"This is vital as we start to leverage the strength of the M&S brand and values across a family of businesses to deliver sustainable, profitable growth in three to five years". Free cashflow before adjusting items was down 12.6 per cent to £582.4 million from £666.3 million.

It said online sales were growing, but that its online capability was "behind the best of our competitors and our website is too slow". "Accelerated change is the only option", M&S said in a statement.

When all is said and done, the Marks & Spencer closures will affect more than 1,500.

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