Marks & Spencer to shut 30 stores after £201m loss

Marks & Spencer has reported a full-year loss of £201.2 million in the 52 weeks to 27 March.

The multinational retailer saw pre-tax profits drop from £403 million to just £41.6 million last year.

Revenue declined from £10.1 billion in 2019 to £8.9 billion last year.

The company plans to close a further 30 shops over the next 10 years, having already closed or relocated 59 full line stores, as well as 16 food-only stores, and eight outlets.

It said that it would recapture trade in nearby stores or online.

“A continued headwind to M&S brand perception and performance is the legacy estate of full line stores (selling both Clothing & Home and Food) often in declining locations or centres, with inefficient space which is difficult to shop and costly to replenish,” the company said in its final year statement.

Last year, M&S revealed it would cut 7,000 jobs over a three-month period.

In November 2020, the retailer reported its first ever loss in its 94 years as a public company, as sales were hit by the coronavirus crisis.

Despite the planned store closures, the retailer said that it would open 17 new or expanded full line stores across the next two years, including in a number of former Debenhams sites.

As of the financial year end, M&S has 254 shops open. It said that the objective for its estate is to achieve a fully modernised core of 180 stores.

“In a year like no other we have delivered a resilient trading performance, thanks in no small part to the extraordinary efforts of our colleagues,” said Steve Rowe, chief executive at Marks & Spencer. “In addition, by going further and faster in our transformation through the Never the Same Again programme, we moved beyond fixing the basics to forge a reshaped M&S.

Rowe added: “With the right team in place to accelerate change in the trading businesses and build a trajectory for future growth, we now have a clear line of sight on the path to make M&S special again. The transformation has moved to the next phase.”

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