Marks and Spencer store closures – Marks and Spencer, Inc. (commonly abbreviated to M&S) was established in 1884. It rapidly became an icon on the British high street. But as the high street has suffered with footfall and rising rental prices, M&S is just one of many stores that have had to close their doors.
M&S has 110 stores scheduled for closure, out of which 67 will ultimately close. The retailer has not yet made clear what will happen to affected employees. Also, it still needs to provide a complete list of stores that have already closed or will soon close. In light of the current economic situation, M&S estimates that the decision will help the company save £300 million.
However, there is some good news! The chain plans to open 104 more “bigger and fresher” food outlets as well. If you are curious to know what has happened to the business and which stores are going to close, read this article.
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Who owns Marks and Spencer?
A prominent British retailer of food, apparel, and home goods is the Marks and Spencer Group (M&S). The company provides banking and financial services through its subsidiary, M&S Bank. Also, fully renewable energy services are provided by M&S Energy.
Michael Marks, Thomas Spencer, Istolainen Simon, and David Quenet established Marks & Spencer in Leeds. There are several stockholders in the Marks & Spencer Group, a publicly traded business on the London Stock Exchange.
Over 30 million clients are served annually across its stores, support centres, warehouses, and supply chain. As of 2022, it had 1,487 stores and 98 websites around the world.
What happened to M&S?
On May 22, 2018, it was announced by M&S that, as part of a “radical” plan, more than 100 locations would be shut down by 2022. Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, M&S announced on August 18, 2020, that they were going to cut 7,000 jobs over the following three months.
The coronavirus pandemic had already had a significant negative impact on the business. In 2021, it announced plans to close 30 outlets. It happened after the shop disclosed a substantial decline in its clothing and home goods sales. Thus, the company revealed plans to drop stores over the following ten years as part of its restructuring strategy in May 2021.
It was in addition to the 59 clothes and grocery stores, as well as the 15 food-only locations and eight outlets that the business had already closed. All of the shop closings were part of a broad, radical restructuring plan that was first revealed in 2016. The company had a target closure goal of 110 outlets by 2022.
The company declared its intention to increase its Simply Food stores from 316 to 420 while reducing the number of clothes and home shops from 247 to 180.
Although Marks and Spencer has previously shut down 68 locations in recent years, the pandemic interfered with their plans to reduce rent expenses.
So far, M&S has only officially acknowledged the stores it shuttered between 2016 and 2019. Read on to get information about what we currently know about the stores that have closed.
List of M&S store closures:
It was revealed that 67 additional M&S locations will close starting in October 2022. The high-street retailer announced that it would close stores with “lower productivity.” It was done to save the business over £300 million.
A quarter of all of its stores will close as a result of the recently announced retail closures. In early 2028, 180 “full-line” M&S stores that sell food, apparel, and home goods were intended to stay afloat. It is according to Chief Executive Stuart Machin. Compared to the 247 stores it now has, this new number represents a significant decrease.
In November 2016, M&S unveiled their initial 10-year restructuring plan. This plan included a move to a food-focused strategy and the closure of 100 locations that were failing by 2022.
The retail behemoth then disclosed that in May 2019, it would close 120 additional stores. It has an April 2024 cutoff date.
In order to boost earnings, M&S confirmed its intentions to close an additional 30 outlets and merge or relocate a further 80 in 2021. It happened shortly after it was reported that 59 other food and clothing outlets would also be closing.
The locations of all 67 of the stores slated for closure have yet to be confirmed by M&S. However, several of them had already had their doors taken down.
On April 22, its branch in Castleford was permanently closed. On April 15, its Middlesborough location shuttered. Meanwhile, on April 1, its store in Edinburgh’s Meadowbank Retail Park closed.
Its East Kilbride location closed on February 25.
Also, the Fenchurch Street, London, location closed on March 31.
The 40 apparel stores that closed between November 2016 and July 2023 are listed here. However, six of them were actually relocated to different buildings in the same neighbourhood.
- Covent Garden
- Crewe (Relocation)
- East Kilbride
- Edgware Broadwalk
- Greenock (Relocation)
- New Mersey Speke will change to a food-only store.
- Newry (Relocation)
- St. Helens (Relocation)
- Stafford (Relocation)
- Wokingham (Relocation)
The following are the 13 clothing stores that closed between April 1 and May 22, 2019:
- Luton Arndale
- Weston Super Mare
Which M&S outlets are closing their doors?
The following outlet stores were also closed in 2018 and 2019. But M&S claimed last year that these weren’t part of the restructuring program. It stated that it has no intentions to close any other outlet stores.
- Fleetwood Outlet
- Newton Abbot Outlet
- Junction One, Antrim Outlet
What causes M&S stores to close?
A challenging consumer environment has existed over the past few years. The closure of Boots stores, Iceland stores, and Argos stores also evidenced it. They are all, in part, a result of a challenging economic climate. M&S has sadly joined a group of high-street retailers suffering from declining revenues and growing operating expenses.
The British retailer, as a result of this, announced the closure of further outlets. Thus adding to the already lengthy list of stores closing as part of its restructuring approach.
The high-street retailer has announced a store revamp to address an increase in operating costs in recent years. Thus, labour costs and rising energy prices are thought to be part of the issue.
According to The Daily Mail, a portion of the £300 million the company wants to save from the retail closings will go toward trying to cut a projected £100 million energy cost.
According to the publication, “Mr Machin said that energy prices were already £40 million higher than this time last year. Thus adding that they might rise to £100 million next year.”
According to estimates, M&S uses 80% of its energy in its stores alone, mostly to run lights, cash registers, and refrigerators.
Like the majority of other stores, Marks and Spencer suffered a financial loss due to the coronavirus pandemic. M&S was required to shut down its locations, along with all other non-essential stores, during a number of nationwide lockdowns in 2020 and 2021. The retailer’s finances, as well as consumer sales, were significantly impacted by this.
M&S reported a loss of £201 million in 2020, with a 31% decline in clothes and food sales. Compared to the £67 million profit they achieved in 2019, this is a significant change.
Making way for a reshaped future:
M&S has announced plans to further up its store closure initiatives in response to a significant £200 million financial loss. It was caused by an almost one-third decline in clothes and homeware sales during the pandemic-related high street lockdowns.
For the year ending April 3, 2021, food sales rose somewhat at established stores by 1.3%. But this growth drifted behind rivals partly. It’s because M&S entered the online grocery industry later than its competitors. It announced its delivery service in partnership with Ocado in September rather than earlier.
As more people chose to work from home at that time, the company also needed help with lower sales brought on by the closing of its cafes. Thus, a fall in demand for takeout items like sandwiches happened.
M&S intends to increase its online grocery capacity by 50% over the next 18 months (as of May 2021). It was in order to address these issues. As a result, it is known that its products account for more than 25% of an average Ocado order.
Despite a roughly 54% increase in clothes and homewares sales online, this gain was unable to make up for a 56% drop in high street sales. It happened as a result of store closures brought on by COVID-19 regulations.
The group’s full-year pre-tax loss of £201.2 million included £117 million in restructuring charges and £95 million to cover the cost of shop closures. It is a striking contrast to M&S’s profit of just over £67 million in 2020.
Notably, M&S was compensated with £131.5 million in government furlough payments and £175 million in company rate relief. These had helped to lessen the financial blow.
In light of the unusual conditions, M&S CEO Steve Rowe hailed the results as resilient.
He made it clear that the business has dealt with the root causes of the problems. Also, it was prepared to “accelerate change in the trading businesses and build a path for future progress.”
“We are now given a clear path on the path to making M&S special again. The next stage of the change has begun,” continued Rowe.
M&S claimed overall trading that exceeded 2019 levels from April to May 2021. It was when non-essential locations reopened across the UK. Excluding cafes and tourism destination businesses, growth was seen in the leading food, home furnishings, and clothes categories.
The chairman of M&S, Archie Norman, expressed hope about the company’s prospects. He stated that it was “emerging from the chrysalis of Covid as a reformed business.”
In May 2021, M&S’s stock rose 8.5% to 169.2p, a sign of investor confidence. It is twice the 85p price that was registered in May of the previous year. But it was still much less than the 415p share price that was recorded five years earlier.
Rowe also issued a warning about the future course of the rebound in hospitality and convenience food. He also said the viability of the rebound in clothing and housing remained uncertain.
M&S is currently speeding up its strategy to shutter obsolete outlets. It had the aim of developing a chain of 180 clothing and homewares sites across the nation over the following ten years.
The business expects that this revised plan will bring in at least £200 million to fund the $260 million cost of store closures and invest in new or upgraded locations in 2021.
Are there any new stores that M&S is opening?
Marks and Spencer revealed in January 2023 that they intended to open 20 new “bigger, better” locations this year. This action is despite continuing with their plans to close certain outlets.
In some of the largest shopping malls in Britain, including Leeds White Rose, Liverpool One, Birmingham Bullring, Manchester’s Trafford Centre, and Lakeside Thurrock, eight sizable “destination” businesses will open.
The new Birmingham store will debut in the fall of 2023, with the Leeds and Liverpool locations expected to open in the summer of 2023. The M&S stores in Manchester and Lakeside will open for business in the winter of 2023.
As part of an initiative by M&S to occupy and improve vacant premises, five of the retailer’s new stores will open on the former Debenhams site. Through the company’s “store rotation program,” 3,400 new positions will be created.
According to Stuart Machin, CEO of M&S, “Stores are a core part of M&S’s omni-channel future. They serve as an edge over rivals for how customers want to shop today.”
“The goal of our store rotation program is to ensure that we have the right stores in the right places with adequate space. Our goal is to transition from the 247 stores we currently have to 180 full-line stores with higher quality and productivity.
We sell our whole selection of clothing, home goods, and food in addition to opening over 100 more extensive, better food sites,” he added.
The launch of the new stores will coincide with the 104 additional Simply Food locations that were scheduled to open in October 2022. These are often the tiny “food to go” stores that drivers can find at gas stations and service centres.
From now until the beginning of 2028, this will significantly increase their Simply Food stores from 316 to 420. Select Simply Food locations that were previously slated for closure are scheduled to reopen with a limited number of their stores.
Has M&S shut down its banks?
In the summer of 2021, M&S closed their in-store banking locations. It was in line with the accounts’ scheduled savings and current account closures on August 31, 2021. M&S will continue to offer bank services to customers online by providing credit cards and other financial services. It is despite the fact that there are now no physical bank branches left.
The following services are currently offered as part of M&S banking:
- M&S Credit Card
- M&S Personal Loans
- M&S Club Rewards
- M&S Car Insurance
- M&S Pet Insurance
- M&S Travel Insurance
- M&S Home Insurance
- M&S Travel Money
- M&S Savings and Investments
M&S also informed shareholders that despite an “uncertain” outlook for consumer spending, the new fiscal year has gotten off to a “good start.” It happens while British households continue to experience high levels of inflation.
There is still inflationary pressure in the firm’s supply chain as a result of rising labour expenses and some commodity price hikes. But Mr. Machin stated that the company anticipates recent pricing increases to “soften.”
Over the next year, the business also expects to confront over £50 million in energy cost hikes and over £100 million in employee pay increases. However, it stressed that it has a cost-cutting strategy in place to obtain an additional £150 million annually. Following one year, Mr. Machin
Continued, “Our plan to reorganize M&S for growth has created continuous trading momentum. Businesses are continuing to expand sales and market share.”
“Our food, apparel, and home businesses invested in value to protect customers from the full force of inflation. While this had an impact on margin, it was the appropriate move. It’s because satisfying our customers’ needs is the only way to satisfy our shareholders,” he continued.