M&S' Brexit: Marks and Spencer to close its Paris flagship store

 
Helen Cahill
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Passers-by stand in front of the new Mar
The Marks and Spencer store on the Champs-Elysees (Source: Getty)

Marks and Spencer is planning to shut its flagship store in Paris, according to reports.

The British retailer wants to scale back its international operations to save on costs, Bloomberg has reported.

Read more: MPs call for debate on "loopholes" in national living wage legislation

The decision will be formally announced by chief executive Steve Rowe on 8 November when the company posts its half year results.

Former M&S boss Mark Bolland opened the store in 2010, and it has been widely expected that Rowe would reverse some of Bolland's decisions in order to take the business in a new direction.

M&S' international profits fell 37 per cent last year and the future of the company in Europe has become uncertain following the Brexit vote.

Read more: M&S shells out £100m for pension changes and payments to ease pay cut pain

The business has 480 stores across Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

M&S declined to offer any comment.

The move comes at a time when M&S has been cutting costs. The retailer has been cutting premium pay for its shop staff and will be sacking staff in its head office.

The reduction in staff pay has been M&S' response to the government's new national living wage, which will rise to £9 by 2020.

But the company's strategy has been criticised by MPs, 70 of whom have written to Rowe to ask him to meet them, an offer he declined.

Read more: M&S boss Steve Rowe declines to meet MPs to discuss pay cuts for his staff

Next week, MPs will debate M&S' pay changes and the wider industry reaction to the national living wage in the House of Commons.

Siobhain McDonagh MP said: "Marks and Spencer, the queen of the high street, has just issued new contracts to its long-standing staff - those who were employed prior to 2002 - and told them that they will be sacked by Christmas for some other substantial reason should they not choose to return those signed contracts.

"A debate will be particularly timely for those people."

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