M&S boss Steve Rowe could be planning to close even more stores

Alys Key
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Marks & Spencer Christmas Sales Expected To Be Disappointing
M&S has already reduced its presence both in the UK and overseas (Source: Getty)

The arrival of new chairman Archie Norman could herald more stores closures for Marks & Spencer.

The retailer, which has already announced a raft of closures, is expected to unveil a tougher restructuring plan, The Guardian reported today.

Sources told the paper that chief executive Steve Rowe has been working on a new plan with Norman to tackle the company's declining profits, weighed down by disappointing clothing sales.

The veteran of the British high street has already exited several overseas markets, and closed its flagship Paris store.

Read more: Marks and Spencer heads out of China

Most recently it has begun talks over offloading its Hong Kong and Macau franchises.

The retailer has struggled with the drag of declining clothes sales, and has made efforts to slash the amount of space taken up by clothing in its stores, compared with the more profitable food business.

Earlier this week analyst Tony Shiret at Whitman Howard suggested for the second time that M&S should merge with Next. The mid-market fashion retailer has been hit by many similar problems to M&S, which Shiret said could be partly rectified through a "defensive merger" between the two.

Read more: Next's sales return to growth with strong online performance

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