MARKS & Spencer is set to close 17 stores across the UK, putting 1,045 jobs at risk.
The department store chain is consulting with staff over the proposed store closures after a difficult Christmas trading period.
M&S struggled over the festive period with like-for-like clothing and home sales dropping 2.4 per cent over 13 weeks to December 29, according to the Ipswich Star.
Food sales also fell by 2.1 per cent over the same period.
The chain announced in May that it would close 100 stores by 2022 as part of a radical restructuring plan first announced in 2016.
In addition to the 17 closures announced today, another 38 have already been announced, 30 of which have already shut their doors for the last time.
M&S said it hopes to keep on as many staff as possible.
The closures have so far affected 1,891 M&S workers but the company said 1,591 of them – over 80 per cent – had been been moved to new roles.
The stores that have been proposed for closure today are:
- Junction One Antrim Outlet
- Luton Arndale
- Sutton Coldfield
- Weston Super Mare
M&S: Which stores have closed and which might shut in the future?
THIS is a list of the stores which have closed and which might shut in the future:
New Mersey Speke Shopping Park
Stores due to close:
Stores proposed for closure today:
Junction One Antrim Outlet
Weston Super Mare
Sacha Berendji, property director at Marks & Spencer, said: “We’re continuing to transform M&S with pace and as part of this we are making good progress with our plans to close over 100 stores – radically reshaping our store estate to become more relevant for our customers.
“Proposing to close stores is never easy, for our colleagues, customers or the local community, but it is vital for the future of M&S.
“Where we have closed stores, we are continuing to see an encouraging number of customers choosing other nearby locations and shopping on M&S.com.”
The news comes after Debenhams announced yesterday that it will close a total of 90 stores, putting 10,000 jobs at risk.
In October, the retailer said it was set to close a third of stores under emergency plan to save £100m.
Struggling British high street retailers slashed 150,000 jobs last year – and experts predict fresh pain in 2019.
Which shops did we lose from the high street in 2018?
A number of familiar high street names hit the rocks last year, including:
- Asda: The supermarket is to start consulting with staff over potential job losses next year which could total almost 2,500.
- Coast collapsed into administration in October 2018, putting 300 jobs at risk. Twenty-four standalone stores have been closed, while Karen Millen is understood to have bought the group’s brand and website, saving around 600 roles.
- Evans Cycles: Up to 50 per cent of its locations will also close, leading to around 650 job cuts.
- Gaucho restaurant group prepared to file for administration in July 2018 facing the loss of 1,500 jobs. The Argentinian restaurant had been in talks with potential buyers since May 2018.
- House of Fraser announced in early August that 31 of its 59 stores would be closing by January 2019. This meant 2,000 jobs were at risk – along with over 4,000 of its brands and concessions. It’s now been confirmed that Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley has bought the company.
- Ikea: The Swedish furniture store unveiled plans to cut 350 UK jobs over the next two years as part of a global transformation plan. But it will also add 500 new jobs in spring when the new Greenwich store opens.
- Laura Ashley: The retail chain is expected to close around 40 stores under its new chairman.
- New Look is looking at plans to close 60 stores in the UK, with its owners considering a possible Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) which will allow it to restructure its business and pay-off its debts.
- Pets At Home: The pet chain is likely to cut some jobs next year, having earmarked 30 vet practices at its stores for closure.
- Prezzo also announced plans to close 100 restaurants putting hundreds of jobs at risk.
- Toys R Us went into administration earlier this year. The company, for many years a household name in retailing, faced the loss of 3,000 jobs.
We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online Money team? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 78 24516. Don’t forget to join the Sun Money’s Facebook group for the latest bargains and money-saving advice.