M&S returns to France

Marks and Spencer will return to France this year with stores in Paris and its first international website, it announced today.

The new website will be in French and is set to trade in Euros.

A new store will be opened in Champs-Elysees, central Paris, in the next few months and will sell both womenswear and food.

M&S’s chief executive, Marc Bolland, said: “Marks & Spencer has great brand awareness here in France and a place in customers' hearts.”

The company is also in talks with a UK franchise partner, SSP, about opening M&S Simply Food stores in the French capital.

The new stores and website will launch before the Christmas period begins this year.

M&S decided to abandon its presence in Western Europe ten years ago, after the years of losses at the stores.

In France this sparked protests from both staff and customers, who did not want to be deprived of M&S products.

A dozen workers occupied the Parisian flagship store to try and stop it closing down.