M&S to halt store construction

Marks & Spencer’s has revealed it will stop constructing new bricks-and-mortar stores in three years’ time.

The retailer, which has been expanding its high street retail outlets for the past 129 years, will build four more large outlets in the next three years. However after that, it will bring construction to a halt – due to the fact that many consumers are moving online for their shopping needs.

Marc Bolland, chief executive of the brand, said that old buildings may be replaced but that the chain doesn’t plan to expand in the UK. He told dailymail.co.uk: “The number of new stores will be flat due to the growth of dotcom within three years. This means that we will continue to maintain the estate by closing older stores and replacing them with new ones in better locations, but we will not be growing our general merchandise in the UK.”

Instead the firm will concentrate on the online payment sales of its ‘click and collect’ service, whereby customers buy online and then collect from existing stores or have products delivered to their home.

Marks and Spencer’s (which was first established in 1884) currently has 766 UK outlets, along with 419 branches of its specialist Simply Food convenience stores.

According to heraldscotland.com, Bolland has also claimed to be turning around the chain’s fortunes after it posted a 5.8 per cent fall in underlying pre-tax profit to £665.2 million.


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