M&S to close 100 United Kingdom stores by 2022

M&S profits plunge 62pc amid sweeping store closure plans

Marks & Spencer (M&S), one of the best known names in United Kingdom retail, first said it would reduce the amount of store space devoted to clothing and homewares in 2016, shortly after company lifer Steve Rowe became chief executive.

The chain revealed on Tuesday that it was putting thousands of jobs at risk through plans to extend its programme of store closures to 100 sites by 2022.

These adjusted results are said to be consistent with how M&S's business performance is measured internally as it undergoes its transformation plan and results for FY18 include 321.1 million pounds stemming from its United Kingdom store estate closure programme.

The latest wave of closures will affect M&S clothing and home stores, which have underperformed for years.

But M&S's underlying profit was better than the £573mln market forecast, sending its shares 5.7% higher to 308.5p in afternoon trading.

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Britain's Marks & Spencer on Wednesday reported a 5.4 percent fall in full-year profit, a second straight decline, hurt by a weakening in the food profit margin. Comparable food sales were down 0.3 per cent. Revenue nudged up 0.7 per cent to £10.7 billion. In addition, the group is set to close 25 percent of its Clothing & Home space to as sales shift online and investing to increase and improve its commerce capacity to support its aim to double its online sales to more than 33 percent.

"We have been clear about our plans to accelerate our store closure program and the action we must take to build a business with sustainable, profitable growth", an M&S spokesperson said. "These changes come with short term costs which are reflected in today's results", said Steve Rowe, Marks & Spencer CEO in a statement.

"There are a number of structural issues to address and we are taking steps towards fixing these", Mr Rowe added.

"M&S is simply struggling to make progress in a world where a compelling mobile app is every bit as important as a presence on the high street, and considerably less expensive".

Then in November previous year, three months after retail veteran Archie Norman joined as chairman, the firm said it would speed-up the programme.

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