Marks & Spencer has said it is seeking to speed up a major shake-up of its stores estate which will result in the closure of 67 more shops.
The retailer stressed that the previously announced closures will be more than offset by new openings as the group seeks to focus more on its grocery business and online operations.
In 2019, M&S confirmed long-term plans to axe 110 stores as part of a sweeping overhaul under previous boss Steve Rowe.
In September, the company confirmed the Simply Food shop in Ocean Terminal in Leith will shut down with the company citing “changing” shopping habits as the reason behind the decision.
Local MSP Foysol Choudhury said it “could be the death knell” for the city shopping centre.
Glasgow’s former Sauchiehall Street Marks and Spencer store is to be transformed into a residential and retail complex under “ambitious” plans after it closed earlier this year.
In a presentation to investors, the retail giant has said there are a remaining 67 “lower productivity, full line stores” it will close over the next five financial years.
It added that the company will now seek to speed up this transformation plan with an aim of completing the stores shake-up over three years.
The move will also see the retailer open 104 more Simply Food outlets over the same period, with many expected to reopen in the same area or location as sites earmarked for closure.
M&S has not detailed which locations or how many jobs will be affected by the plans.
The company said it has “made some progress to date” on the transformation of its stores portfolio but has further to go, as it seeks to complete the plan with 180 full-line branches and 420 food shops.
The plan will result in a 20% reduction in retail space dedicated to clothing and home products, amid significant online growth.
The shake-up also comes as part of a wider overhaul which will see M&S aim to deliver around £400m in cost savings.
It comes under the leadership of recently-appointed chief executive officer Stuart Machin and co-chief executive officer Katie Bickerstaffe.
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