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Marks & Spencer to open 36 new stores and close six

Marks & Spencer is to open 36 stores in the next six months as part of a five year programme to improve its store estate. It has also announced plans to close six stores as it looks to stay “in tune” with customers’ shopping habits.

DEPARTMENT STORES

Marks & Spencer to open 36 new stores and close six

The retailer will launch 34 new food stores and two clothing, home and food stores in the period. The new stores include food halls in Bishopsgate in London, Huntingdon, Aylesbury, Spinningfields in Manchester and Strood in Kent. Meanwhile, the new locations for M&S cothing, home and food stores will include Bracknell and Rushden.

In addition, the retailer will relocate two clothing, home and food stores this summer in Crewe and Greenock.

The new shops will create over 1,400 new customer assistant and management jobs.

M&S has also announced that it is consulting with staff over the proposed closure of six stores in Monks Cross, Portsmouth, Slough, Warrington, Wokingham and Worksop. If the proposals go ahead, M&S said all 380 staff in the affected stores will be guaranteed redeployment at a nearby store.

Steve Rowe, M&S chief executive, said: “M&S stores will always be an integral part of our customer offer, working seamlessly alongside our website, M&S.com, to deliver great products and service to our customers. However, our customers’ shopping habits are changing. Picking up food for now or tonight rather than doing one big shop or browsing and shopping online and collecting in store are great examples of this and we are committed to adapting our business so that we stay in tune with our customers.

“This means there will be more M&S colleagues working in an increased number of convenient locations, serving more customers. It also means that we will open new stores, some will reduce in size, some will move, some will close and others will convert to food only. Each proposal we make will be very carefully considered with our colleagues and customers firmly front of mind. It is our intention that nobody leaves M&S and we will work as hard as possible to ensure that we can deliver against this promise.”

M&S announced its five-year UK store estate programme in November after a full review of its portfolio. The plans include opening 200 new food only stores and selling clothing and home from 60 fewer locations.

The retailer currently has 959 UK stores including 304 full line stores, 615 food only stores and 40 outlet shops.

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