Marks & Spencer has revealed a further tranche of fashion and home store closures as part of ongoing efforts to reshape its UK store estate.
Six stores in Birkenhead, Bournemouth, Durham, Fforestfach, Putney in London and Redditch will all close before the end of April. Store staff will be moved to nearby stores.
A further eight stores are earmarked for closure in Andover, Basildon, Bridlington, Denton (which is an outlet), Falmouth, Fareham, Keighley and Stockport. A total of 468 staff are affected by the proposals and will now enter a period of consultation. If store closures go ahead, staff will be offered redeployment to other branches before redundancy is considered.
The retailer announced in November 2016 that it intended to reposition around 25% of its clothing and home space as part of a five-year plan, through a combination of closures, downsizes, relocations and conversions to food-only stores.
Sacha Berendji, director of retail at Marks & Spencer, said: “We’re committed to transforming M&S for our customers, colleagues and shareholders. Stores will always be an integral part of our customer experience, alongside M&S.com, but we have to ensure we have the right offer in the right locations.
“We don’t want any colleagues to leave M&S and we will work with each colleague individually on what is best for them as we endeavour to give everyone a role. However, we accept in some cases we may have to consider redundancy.We believe these changes are vital for the future of M&S and we will continue to accelerate the programme, taking tough but necessary decisions, as we focus on making M&S special.”
Marks & Spencer also announced earlier this month that it will close its distribution centre in Neasden, north London, placing 380 people into consultation.