Retailer looking to cut back
M&S expected to announce 30 store closures
New chief executive Steve Rowe is looking to rationalise the chain and has already hinted that it will shut stores overseas, including its flagship outlet in Paris.
The closures are part of moves to reduce cost and get to grips with the chronic slump in key lines, particularly women’s clothing sales.
Stores will be reorganised to give more space to its successful food business. Any unwanted space may even be offered to other businesses such as restaurants and retailers. This may see it echo the concessions offered by department stores such as Debenhams and John Lewis.
Rowe intends to extend the Simply Food stores, doubling their number by adding a further 200.
M&S has 300 full-range stores, 640 food-only outlets and more than 400 international stores.
Mr Rowe took over in July following the departure of Marc Bolland and the biggest fall in fashion sales since the 2008 financial crisis.
However, M&S is not alone in battling a fall in fashion sales. Next saw a 3.5% slump in the three months to 31 October.