Marks & Spencer is opening 36 new UK stores

 
Helen Cahill
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The high street retailer has been focusing on its food offer (Source: Getty)

Marks and Spencer has said it is opening 36 new stores in the UK, creating 1,400 jobs.

Most of the new stores will only sell food, as the retailer seeks to capitalise on the popularity of its food halls. One of the new food shops will be in Bishopsgate.

M&S also announced that it is closing six stores. The shops closing are in Monks Cross, Portsmouth, Slough, Warrington, Wokingham, and Worksop.

The business is consulting with staff over the closures, which are likely to affect 380 staff. However, M&S has promised them employment in near-by stores.

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Steve Rowe, chief executive of Marks & Spencer, said: “M&S stores will always be an integral part of our customer offer, working seamlessly alongside our website, M&S.com, to deliver great products and service to our customers. However, our customers’ shopping habits are changing.

"Picking up food for now or tonight rather than doing one big shop or browsing and shopping online and collecting in store are great examples of this and we are committed to adapting our business so that we stay in tune with our customers."

In November, Marks & Spencer outlined plans to close 60 stores, with 30 shutting completely, and 45 stores set to be "downsized or replaced" as Simply Food stores.

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