25 May 2024, 18:13
By Furniture News Nov 09, 2016

M&S signals store repositioning

A "tough market" had led M&S to signal the closure of around 60 clothing and home stores, whilst bolstering the number of standalone food stores.

In the retailer's HY results (ended 1st October), M&S says it made "good progress" against the strategic priorities it set out in May, with underlying profits down in the half due to lower clothing and home sales. Non-underlying items include significant charge relating to pension changes.

The company proposes to focus its international business on a franchise model, exiting its loss-making owned business across 10 markets, and announced a five-year plan to improve the productivity of its UK store estate by repositioning around 25% of its clothing and home space.

Steve Rowe, M&S CEO, comments: “In May, we laid out a number of questions which we would answer as part of our strategic review. We committed to creating a simpler business with customers at its heart, and taking action to start to recover our Clothing & Home business and continue to grow in Food.

“Our aim is to build a sustainable business which will delight our customers, provide a robust foundation for future growth and deliver value for our shareholders in the long term. We have made good progress on our plans and customers are already noticing a difference, particularly in Clothing & Home.

“In addition, we have made major steps towards fairer pay and pension arrangements, streamlined our senior management team and our plans to implement a simpler head office structure are well underway.

“We have now completed a forensic review of our estate both in the UK and in our International markets. Over the next five years we will transform our UK estate with c.60 fewer Clothing & Home stores, whilst continuing to increase the number of our Simply Food stores. In the future, we will have more inspiring stores in places where customers want to shop that complement our growing digital offer."

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