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M&S to announce further store closures

Marks & Spencer is set to announce a further tranche of store closures, The Sunday Times reported yesterday.

The number of “full-line” stores, which sell both clothing and food, is expected to increase from 60 to 100, as the retailer struggles to revive its performance. This decision is said to be informed by early success from closures that led sales to switch to nearby, out-of-town locations.

So far, 20 stores have closed as part of the M&S turnaround plan, announced in November 2016, which aimed to help the chain recover from several years of decline.

An M&S Spokesperson said: “We have been clear about M&S’s plans to accelerate our store closure programme and the action we must take to build a business with sustainable, profitable growth. But, we would never comment on speculation of this kind.”

M&S is expected to announce a fall in profits, and a 1.1% drop in clothing and home sales for 2017, when it reports its full-year results this week on Wednesday 23 May.

The company’s share price has been slowly declining, and it may face relegation from the FTSE 100, where it has been listed since 1984, when the stock exchange reshuffles this week.

Meanwhile, M&S has hired outgoing Dixon’s Carphone Warehouse chief executive, Kate Bickerstaffe and Ernst & Young global board member Pip McCrostie as a non-executive director on the board.

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