UK retail giant Marks & Spencer is set to close more than 100 of its UK stores by 2022 under a “radical transformation plan”, with the retailer planning further store closures to take place in the coming years as it looks to online growth.
Marks & Spencer is aiming to take at least a third of its sales online, with the closures including 21 stores that have already closed, along with a further 14 stores earmarked as being proposed for closure or set to close.
Amid the soaring popularity of online shopping, and the growing importance of delivering a seamless omni-channel experience, department stores the world over have had adjust in a rapidly evolving retail environment.
At a local level, speculation over the future of department store rivals David Jones and Myer has been a regular feature of recent years.
Marks & Spencer currently operates 1025 stores in the UK, with turnover respectively split 60%/40% between its food and clothing and home segments. Its clothing and home business is a particular focus of its transformation efforts.
“Alongside relocations, conversions, downsizes and the introduction of concessions, these closures will radically reshape M&S’s clothing and home space,” Marks & Spencer advised in a statement.
Meanwhile, the retailer has advised that 15 fewer Simply Food stores will open this year as it also scales back its food segment opening program.
Marks & Spencer retail, operations and property director Sacha Berendji described the closures as not easy, but “vital for the future of M&S”.
“We are making good progress with our plans to reshape our store estate to be more relevant to our customers and support our online growth plans,” Berendji said.