Marks & Spencer is putting the brakes on its plans for overseas expansion amid economic crises in Russia and China.
In 2014, M&S chief executive Marc Bolland set targets to open 250 stores overseas in three years, increasing international sales by a quarter and pushing profit up 40%.
M&S executive director of marketing and international Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne has now told Reuters it remains committed to the countries but is rethinking the pace.
“The world has shifted, is a different place … The Syrian situation was very different from what it is today … Putin had not invaded Ukraine and China was growing at close to 9%,” he said.
“It’s reasonable in that context that you would expect a different outlook on the next three years for the company.
“We’re going to have to be much clearer in terms of when you look at the roll-out or roadmap about where to open stores.”
Marks & Spencer was also one of the British businesses that in July this year put in place a contingency plan in the event of a “Grexit” situation in the eurozone.