Thursday, 16 August, 2018

M&S to axe 100 stores and slow food expansion

M&S stores in Shrewsbury and Telford have not yet been named as one of 100 set for closure by 2022 M&S stores in Shrewsbury and Telford have not yet been named as one of 100 set for closure by 2022
Frank Williams | 23 May, 2018, 17:14

Shares in M&S have fallen 26 percent over the a year ago and the firm is in danger of being booted out of the prestigious FTSE 100 index. Is now well under way and the actions taken have increased the velocity of change running through our business. Worldwide sales fell 7.9 percent to 1,087.2 million pounds during the year while global profit before adjusting items more than doubled to 135.2 million pounds.

Marks & Spencer (M&S) today announced that it has dropped prices on 200 food lines in its "biggest ever" price investment in the Republic of Ireland. "These changes come with short term costs which are reflected in today's results", said Steve Rowe, Marks & Spencer CEO in a statement.

The retailer had a total of 1,035 United Kingdom stores at the end of its 2017/2018 financial year.

Clothing and home revenue fell 1.4% and like-for-like sales decreased 1.9% amid a tough retail market.

M&S said it put around 8% less stock into sale across the year, as a result of its planned removal of two clearance sales.

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M&S warned that an increasing shift in consumer behaviour towards online shopping for fashion, growth in home food delivery and competition from discounters Aldi and Lidl "all amount to threats to our business and market position".

The decision to accelerate the closure program was prompted by early results from the closure of a store in Warrington town centre which led to increased sales in a newer off-high-street store nearby.

Marks & Spencer revealed that the first phase of its transformation plan is focused on restoring the basics and getting its infrastructure fit for the future, a programme that is now underway.

The group plans to move about a third of its sales online and reduce the floor space devoted to its struggling clothing and home division. Hoping to fix its structural problems by July, Rowe added that the new M&S is "tackling transforming our culture to make M&S a faster, lower cost, more commercial, more digital business".

M&S is also improving its website and investing in its e-commerce capacity, including a site at Castle Donington, with the aim of doubling its online share of clothing and home sales to more than 33%. "In both businesses we need to revitalise our ranges and reassert our reputation for value for money".

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