Marks and Spencer chief executive Steve Rowe admitted to shareholders at its AGM that plans to close 110 of its stores are “not finite” and said the retailer is paying for “not shutting stores 10 or 20 years ago”.
Marks and Spencer currently has plans to axe 85 full-line stores and 25 of its Simply Food outlets as it targets a return to profitable growth.
Rowe said at the meeting, which was held yesterday (9 July) at Wembley Stadium, that its legacy stores are holding the retailer back, however by closing “old fashioned” stores the retailer is on track to meet its savings target of £350m.
Rowe was also optimistic that its £750m delivery deal with Ocado would help boost profits as it aims to double the size of its £6bn food offering.
M&S chairman Archie Norman told investors the deal could be “transformational”. He said: “Our ambition is to double the size of our food business and Ocado sets us well on the way to doing that. We think this is transformational for our business.”
The venture will trade as Ocado.com but benefit from access to M&S’ brand, products and customer database from September 2020 at the latest.