Retail giant Marks & Spencer is to axe 110 stores as customers turn their backs on the high street food and clothing stalwart.
This week the firm posted underlying pre-tax profits of £523.2 million for the year to March 30, down from £580.9 million the previous year.
And although boss Steve Rowe said there were “green shoots of a turnaround” for the business, this is not expected to bring about noticeable change until the second half of 2019-20.
M&S said it will axe another 85 full-line stores and around 25 Simply Food outlets on top of the 35 full-line branches closed in 2018-19.
Shops may be relocated
However the firm also has plans to open and relocate shops.
Marks & Spencer said it was relocating or reducing Simply Food shops that have lower sales as it focuses efforts on the best-performing locations.
The company explained, “Our strategy is as much about right sizing, relocating and new openings as it is about closures.
“As such we anticipate our owned store base is likely to remain broadly level.”
Figures from last year showed a drop in womenswear profits of 1.6 per cent and a 2.3 per cent decline in food hall sales.
Last year’s figures
Mr Rowe said, ‘Whilst there are green shoots, we have not been consistent in our delivery in a number of areas of the business.
“M&S is changing faster than at any time in my career – substantial changes across the business to our processes, ranges and operations – and this has constrained this year’s performance, particularly in clothing and home.
“However, we remain on track with our transformation and are now well on the road to making M&S special again.”