Find out which Marks and Spencer stores could close in East Anglia

M&S Marks and Spencer Simply Food cut cull convenience

M&S Marks and Spencer Simply Food cut cull convenience

The British retailer says these closures are necessary for the evolvement of the brand with 14 stores to close over the next year.

M&S first said it would reposition its store estate in 2016 to reduce the amount of space devoted to clothing and home.

In a statement, the company said there will be relocations, conversions, downsizes and the introduction of concessions, to "radically reshape" M&S's Clothing & Home space.

In a statement today (22 May), released ahead of its full-year results tomorrow, the United Kingdom retailer announced the next tranche of United Kingdom stores proposed for closure or set to close as its radical transformation plan continues at pace.

Darlington, East Kilbride, Falkirk, Kettering, Newmarket, New Mersey Speke, Northampton, Stockton and Walsall are proposed for closure and will now enter a period of consultation with all 626 affected employees. "M&S has to get its clothing-and-home stores down to a much smaller number unless they can demonstrate there is a real goal to them". All staff will be offered redeployment before redundancy is considered.

The closures represent around a tenth of the clothing and food group's United Kingdom stores, as it grapples with weak consumer spending and intense competition from supermarkets, fashion chains like Zara and H&M as well as online giant Amazon.

In five years' time more than 100 Marks & Spencer stores will have closed as part of the retailer's attempts to stem its decline.

Under its plan, M&S wants to move a third of its sales online and plans to have fewer, larger clothing and homeware stores in better locations.

Sacha Berendji, retail, operations and property director at Marks & Spencer, added: "Closing stores isn't easy but it is vital for the future of M&S".

He said that where stores have already closed, "encouraging" numbers of consumers were now shopping at nearby stores.

'Usdaw has thousands of members working for Marks & Spencer and the staff now need, more than ever, the representation and support of an independent trade union.

Then in November past year, three months after retail veteran Archie Norman joined as chairman, the firm said it would speed-up the programme.

Shares in M&S have nearly halved in value since peaking at 594p in 2015. Its position seemed unassailable, but since then its market share has been on a declining trend, Hinton explains.

M&S has been announcing store closures and shutting distribution centres as part of the efficiency drive.

"We've seen a much better retention rate than we expected", M&S said.