Marks & Spencer to open 36 new stores in UK
UK retailer Marks & Spencer said that it will open 36 new stores in next six months, creating more than 1,400 new jobs, as part of its store estate restructuring program.
The retailer aims to open 34 new food stores and two clothing, home and food stores.
It also plans to close six stores and redeploy affected staff to nearby stores as part of the restructuring plan.
Among the new stores to be opened are Foodhalls in London at Bishopsgate, Huntingdon, Spinningfields and Aylesbury in central Manchester, and Strood in Kent.
On the other hand, the two brand new locations for the M&S Clothing, Home and Food stores will be at Bracknell and Rushden, scheduled to open doors in July.
Marks & Spencer CEO Steve Rowe said that the company is committed to adapting its business to stay aligned with the changing shopping habits of customers.
Rowe said: “This means there will be more M&S colleagues working in an increased number of convenient locations, serving more customers. It also means that we will open new stores, some will reduce in size, some will move, some will close and others will convert to Food-only.
“Each proposal we make will be very carefully considered with our colleagues and customers firmly front of mind. It is our intention that nobody leaves M&S and we will work as hard as possible to ensure that we can deliver against this promise.”
The closure of six stores will impact 380 employees. M&S stated that it has begun consultations with the employees and their representatives, with plans to redeploy them to near-by-stores.
The six stores which will be shutting shop soon are the Simply Food stores in Monks Cross and Worksop along with four other stores in Portsmouth, Warrington, Slough and Wokingham.
In November last year, M&S announced the closure of 60 of its clothing and home stores in a five-year period following a dip in its profits in the first half of 2016.
Prior to that in September 2016, the retailer disclosed its decision to cut 525 jobs in the UK as part of a restructuring move in its head office in London.
Image: Marks and Spencer to open 36 new stores in the UK. Photo: Courtesy of Marks and Spencer plc.