Marks & Spencer to Close 25 Simply Food Stores
Marks & Spencer is closing 25 underperforming Simply Food stores and two main M&S stores, the British retailer announced today as part of its third-quarter statement.
The London-based company reported a 1.2 percent decline in total sales and a 1.1 percent fall in total food sales in the third quarter ending Dec. 27.
However, “food showed an improved trend quarter on quarter, reflecting the initiatives put in place around better values, promotional stance, innovation, increased availability and reduced waste,” says Marks & Spencer Chairman Stuart Rose. “This improvement accelerated as we entered the Christmas period, culminating in our biggest trading day ever on Dec. 23 with record sales of ?50 million (US$75.7 million).”
Still, Marks & Spencer is shutting down the 27 stores in an effort to reduce operating costs in a difficult economic climate.
Up to 780 jobs will be lost and an additional 450 or so corporate jobs will be cut, representing about 15 percent of total corporate employees.
Marks & Spencer operates more than 600 U.K. stores, and food represents just over half of its business. There are a total of about 350 Simply Food outlets, which sell a variety of seafood products.