Marks & Spencer, which has been under an accelerated transformation plan for the past six months, announced another round of store closures on Tuesday.
The retail group plans to shutter 100 stores by 2022, moving the company toward its goal of deriving a third of its sales from e-commerce. That total includes 21 doors that have already closed plus 14 recently announced locations. As of the end of March, M&S had 1,035 stores in the U.K., 300 clothing, home and food shops, 39 outlets with the balance focused on food only.
“Where we have closed stores, we are seeing an encouraging number of customers moving to nearby stores and enjoying shopping with us in a better environment, which is why we’re continuing to transform our estate with pace,” said Sacha Berendji, who took over as retail, operations and property director in March. “The acceleration of M&S’s U.K. store estate programme is part of M&S’s wider five-year transformation plan to make M&S special again.”
Under the plan, which was announced in October 2016, the company is also relocating, downsizing and converting some locations. It is projecting that ultimately its clothing and home stores will be larger, in better locations, more inspirational and digitally enabled. In April, the chain said it would use a smaller network of larger distribution centers designed to speed up delivery of goods from suppliers to stores and to do so at a lower cost.
The retailer has also pulled back on the roll out of its Simply Food store concept, noting there will be 15 fewer openings this year than had previously been announced.
M&S reported a 2.8% dip in clothing and home store sales for the third quarter and a 2.3% drop in revenue in those stores.
The company is scheduled to report its full-year financials on Wednesday.