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As part of its transformation plan, M&S today announces a second update in its programme to modernise its UK store estate to better meet the changing needs of customers. As announced in November 2016, M&S intends to reposition c.25% of Clothing & Home space through a combination of closures, downsizes, relocations and conversions to food-only stores*. 

Six stores will close by the end of April: Birkenhead, Bournemouth, Durham, Fforestfach, Putney and Redditch, with all colleagues moving to nearby stores.

A further eight stores are proposed for closure: Andover, Basildon, Bridlington, Denton (Outlet), Falmouth, Fareham, Keighley and Stockport. 468 colleagues are affected by the proposals and will now enter a period of consultation. Should these stores close, in the first instance all colleagues would be redeployed or offered redeployment at other stores before redundancy is considered. 

M&S has also reassessed and reduced its Simply Food opening programme, and now only plans to open a total of 36 owned and franchise stores over the next six months. New locations will include Broadstone, Streatham Hill and St Albans. These stores will sell M&S food and drink and offer Collect in Store for Clothing & Home. The 36 stores will create 1,200 management and customer assistant roles. Two stores are also due to relocate – Newry, (Northern Ireland), and Dover, (Kent), which will also convert from a Clothing and Food store to a Foodhall. 

Sacha Berendji, Director of Retail at Marks & Spencer said, “We’re committed to transforming M&S for our customers, colleagues and shareholders. Stores will always be an integral part of our customer experience, alongside M&, but we have to ensure we have the right offer in the right locations.

We don’t want any colleagues to leave M&S and we will work with each colleague individually on what is best for them as we endeavour to give everyone a role. However, we accept in some cases we may have to consider redundancy.

“We believe these changes are vital for the future of M&S and we will continue to accelerate the programme, taking tough but necessary decisions, as we focus on making M&S special.”

This update follows M&S’s announcement in November that it is accelerating its UK store estate plan after the better than expected levels of sales transfer from closures and plans to grow online sales. 

M&S currently has 1,025 stores in the UK: 302 Clothing, Home and Food, 684 Food-only and 39 Outlets. 

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For further information, please contact: 

Marks & Spencer Press Office, 0208 718 1919