M&S to close dozens of stores

Helen Cahill
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The changes will happen over a number of years (Source: Getty)

Marks & Spencer will be closing dozens of UK stores and will cut its clothing offer in others, it's been claimed.

Following reports from Bloomberg that M&S will be closing its Paris store and shops in China, Sky News has said that M&S boss Steve Rowe will announce UK store closures next week.

It is expected that dozens of stores will be shut over a number of years, and there will be a reorganisation to focus on the brand's more successful food business.

Read more: M&S retail boss wrote to George Osborne to defend benefit cuts for staff

The expected announcement will be part of M&S' strategy review in its interim results next week. The change from Rowe is a significant departure from the strategy of his predecessor, Marc Bolland, who expanded the business abroad.

The rationalisation of the store portfolio comes as M&S battles falling clothes sales and finishes a process of changing contracts for its staff.

The underlying cost for its changes to staff contracts came to £100m.

When Rowe first took the helm at M&S, he said he would be focusing on customers, and also signalled that the business would have to do something about its large store portfolio.

Now read: John Lewis Partnership considers further reforms to staff benefits

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