Retailer said town centre locations have ‘lost impetus’ and blamed ‘consumer uncertainty’ for the decision
British retail stalwart Marks & Spencer (M&S) has lost faith in the UK’s town centres, and is preparing to close down 32 more stores over a three year period.
M&S said that town centres had “lost impetus” and blamed failings of local authorities and government policies for the closures.
The beauty and fashion seller also said that “increasing cost pressures and consumer uncertainty” influenced the decision, as well as growth online.
M&S recently signed a major retail deal with beauty giant Clinique, which would see its products roll out to 70 stores in the summer.
500 of Clinique's products will be available online, however.
15 of M&S’ stores will be relocated to town edges over the three year period, some of which will be at former Debenhams stores.
The retailer is also planning on reducing its Clothing & Home spaces.
“Combined with the relocation programme, we are targeting an overall reduction in Clothing & Home space reflecting the rapid growth of online and our exit from the long tail of low sales density stores that deliver a small proportion of total profit,” the retailer said in a statement.
M&S’ exiting CEO, Steve Rowe, added that there was “much more to do” for the business.