M+S: Over 100 stores to close in total by 2022

Lancing / UK. (mas) Marks and Spencer PLC (M+S) announced the next tranche of UK stores proposed for closure or set to close as it reshapes its UK store estate in line with its target to take at least a third of sales online. M+S will now close over 100 stores in total by 2022, including 21 that have already closed and the 14 stores that are announced now as proposed for closure or set to close. Alongside relocations, conversions, downsizes and the introduction of concessions, these closures will radically reshape M+S’s Clothing + Home space. The next 14 Clothing + Home stores that will close or are proposed for closure in 2018/19 as part of the transformative programme are:

  • Bayswater, Fleetwood Outlet and Newton Abbot Outlet – all three of which will close by the end of July 2018;
  • Clacton and Holloway Road – which will both close by early 2019 to coincide with new nearby Food stores opening;
  • Darlington, East Kilbride, Falkirk, Kettering, Newmarket, New Mersey Speke, Northampton, Stockton and Walsall – all nine of which are proposed for closure and will now enter a period of consultation with all 626 affected employees. Should these stores close, all colleagues would be redeployed or offered redeployment at other stores before redundancy is considered.

Sacha Berendji, Retail, Operations and Property Director at Marks + Spencer said, «We are making good progress with our plans to reshape our store estate to be more relevant to our customers and support our online growth plans. Closing stores isn’t easy but it is vital for the future of M+S. Where we have closed stores, we are seeing an encouraging number of customers moving to nearby stores and enjoying shopping with us in a better environment, which is why we’re continuing to transform our estate with pace».

The acceleration of M+S’s UK store estate programme is part of M+S’s wider five-year transformation plan to make M+S special again. Under the plan M+S has the ambition to create fewer, better Clothing + Home stores. These stores will be larger, digitally enabled, better located and more inspirational for customers to shop.They will also be supported by a seamless online experience across all digital channels including mobile and social, and by a conveniently located network of Food stores that offer customers a next-day collect in store service for Clothing + Home purchases.

Actions to-date

  • In November 2016, following a full review of its store portfolio, M+S announced a five-year UK store estate programme
  • In November 2017 M+S announced that it would accelerate the space plan after the better than expected levels of sales transfer from closures and plans to grow online sales
  • Since the announcement of the Store Estate programme in November 2016:
    • M+S has closed 21 stores as part of the programme – 18 closures and three closures and relocations to new sites.
      • The 18 closures are Andover, Basildon, Birkenhead, Bournemouth, Bridlington, Covent Garden, Dover, Durham, Fareham, Fforestfach, Keighley, Portsmouth, Putney, Redditch, Slough, Stockport, Warrington and Wokingham
      • The 3 closures and relocations are Greenock, Newry and Crewe (where the relocation extended an existing Simply Food store)
  • Additionally, M+S has closed one Food store (Monks Cross), one Outlet (Denton) and two stores which acted as satellites to a larger store (Barton Square Home which was part of the Trafford Centre store and Llandudno satellite which was part of Llandudno store)
  • M+S has opened three brand new Clothing + Home stores (Aberystwyth, Bracknell and Rushden Lakes)
  • M+S has converted one outlet store to Food only (Crown Point Leeds)
  • M+S has downsized three stores (Solihull, Pudsey and Bath – where space has been created for a Metro Bank)
  • M+S has begun to create space for a trial of an in-store opticians service (Bolton, York Vangarde, Derby, Manchester and Westfield White City)

M+S UK Store Estate

At the end of 2017/18 M+S had 1,035 stores in the UK: 300 Clothing, Home and Food, 696 Food-only and 39 Outlets (figure correct as of 31/3/18).

Making M+S Special

In November 2017 Marks + Spencer set out a five-year transformation programme for the business concentrating on Restoring the Basics, Shaping the Future and Making M+S Special.

Under this transformation programme, Making M+S Special, M+S has to date announced:

  • A slowdown in the Simply Food store opening programme
  • An acceleration of the UK store estate closure programme
  • The sale and franchise of its retail business in Hong Kong and Macau
  • A new Technology Transformation Programme
  • Improvements to its Clothing + Home Logistics Network
  • The restructure of the Customer, Marketing + Digital Team
  • New customer insight partnership with Starcount
  • The appointment of a new Food Managing Director
  • The merger of Retail + Property
  • New leadership team responsible for overhauling Clothing + Home business
  • Corporate marketing teams devolved into the Clothing + Home and Food businesses

People + Structure Changes

Since Steve Rowe became CEO in April 2016, M+S has set about streamlining and changing its operational and leadership structure. The Clothing + Home and Food businesses have been established as two separate businesses, with strong management teams and full P+L accountability.

Additionally, the senior leadership team has been strengthened with senior hires, including:

  • David Guise, HR Director, appointed October 2016
  • Mel Smith, Strategy Director, appointed May 2017
  • Jill McDonald, Clothing + Home MD, appointed October 2017
  • Victoria Self, Digital Director, appointed January 2018
  • Sharry Cramond, Food Marketing Director, appointed January 2018
  • Lawrence Christensen, Independent Advisor on Supply Chain, appointed March 2018
  • Julian Richer, Independent Advisor on Culture Change, appointed March 2018
  • Stuart Machin, Food MD, appointed April 2018
  • Wes Taylor, Menswear Director, appointed May 2018
  • Jill Stanton, Womenswear + Kidswear Director, joining July 2018
  • Humphrey Singer, CFO, joining July 2018
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