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M&S warns of further store closures and job cuts

M&S bosses have warned of further store closures and job cuts in meetings at the company’s AGM, which took place yesterday (11 June).

The department store chain’s chairman, Archie Norman, told shareholders: “I can’t tell you it won’t be the last”, when speaking about the recent closures at the department store chain. He went on to add that he felt the company’s vast portfolio of stores had become a “drag” on its development.

CEO Steve Rowe warned of further redundancies and spoke of stores “that do not make any money and are uninvestable”, adding that money saved from store closures and redundancies could be invested in technology. He said: “We are not digital in an age where most retail starts with a mobile phone.”

Norman told shareholders he felt the company was on a “burning platform” comparing the choices he was making to deciding between jumping into icy waters or being burnt alive. The chairman told investors that making the company profitable again would take at least five years.

Shareholders at the meeting were mostly supportive of the news with one shareholder commenting “we are going through a lot of change, it’s about survival”.

An M&S spokesperson refused to comment on how many further stores were to shutter and which specific stores they would be when asked by Retail Sector.

As many as 100 stores have already been earmarked for closure by M&S.

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