Marks & Spencer to close 110 more stores following 10% dip in profits

Retail giant Marks & Spencer is to axe 110 stores as customers turn their backs on the high street food and clothing stalwart.

This week the firm posted underlying pre-tax profits of £523.2 million for the year to March 30, down from £580.9 million the previous year.

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And although boss Steve Rowe said there were “green shoots of a turnaround” for the business, this is not expected to bring about noticeable change until the second half of 2019-20.

M&S said it will axe another 85 full-line stores and around 25 Simply Food outlets on top of the 35 full-line branches closed in 2018-19.

Shops may be relocated

However the firm also has plans to open and relocate shops.

Marks & Spencer said it was relocating or reducing Simply Food shops that have lower sales as it focuses efforts on the best-performing locations.

The company explained, “Our strategy is as much about right sizing, relocating and new openings as it is about closures.

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“As such we anticipate our owned store base is likely to remain broadly level.”

Figures from last year showed a drop in womenswear profits of 1.6 per cent and a 2.3 per cent decline in food hall sales.

Last year's figures

Mr Rowe said, ‘Whilst there are green shoots, we have not been consistent in our delivery in a number of areas of the business.

“M&S is changing faster than at any time in my career – substantial changes across the business to our processes, ranges and operations – and this has constrained this year’s performance, particularly in clothing and home.

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“However, we remain on track with our transformation and are now well on the road to making M&S special again.”