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M&S Shuts Down £ 201 Million After Locks Crush Store Sales | Economic news

Marks and Spencer is stepping up plans to downsize its store network after plunging into a £ 201million loss after a year of foreclosure.

The distributor, which currently has a little over 250 “full line” sites selling clothing and home products as well as food ranges, aims to reduce this number to around 180.

It has already closed 59 of those stores, 15 food-only sites and eight outlets under the previously outlined plans and said the effect of the pandemic now allows it to go faster.

Some stores will switch to “food only” and others will be moved to new locations as around 30 stores close, Marks and Spencer said.

It plans 17 new stores or an expansion of the full line over the next two years, including a number of locations that were previously part of the collapsed Debenhams department store chain.

M & S’s annual loss for the year ending March 27 compares to a profit of £ 67million a year earlier.

He said clothing and home sales were down 31% – with contrasting fortunes for stores, where sales fell 56%, and online, where they soared 54%.

Food revenue rose 1.3% even before accounting for the contribution of the retailer’s online delivery with Ocado, which now sells M&S products and improved its bottom line by £ 78million.

Trade since the reopening of non-essential stores in April has exceeded pre-pandemic levels in 2019, but it was not clear whether demand would be sustained, M&S said.

He said after an “initial phase where customers were restocking their wardrobes,” he expected a permanent change in shopping habits, with less demand for formal clothing.

The retailer said it has focused on growth areas such as “new smart office wear” and children’s casual wear, as well as its athleisure line.

Managing Director Steve Rowe said: “In a year like no other, we have achieved a resilient business performance, in large part due to the extraordinary efforts of our colleagues.”

He said the band “never the same again” …

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This notice was published: 2021-05-26 05:35:00