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M&S identifies next 17 stores to close

M&S identifies next 17 stores to close
FILE PHOTO: A man leaves a Marks & Spencer store in London, Britain January 7, 2016. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo   -   Copyright  Toby Melville(Reuters)
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LONDON (Reuters) – British retailer Marks & Spencer <MKS.L> has announced the next 17 stores it will close as part of its programme to reshape its business, putting more than 1,000 jobs at risk.

M&S, Britain’s best known stores group, is targeting over 100 store closures by 2022 as it strives to make at least a third of clothing and home sales online. Its store closure plan was first announced in 2016 and accelerated last year.

Prior to Tuesday’s update it had closed 30 and identified a further eight stores lined up for closure.

The latest 17 include stores in Hull and Huddersfield in northern England, Ashford in south east England, Cwmbran in Wales and Antrim in Northern Ireland.

M&S said the latest plan will affect 1,045 workers.

“M&S will now enter a period of consultation with these colleagues with the intention of retaining as many people as possible,” it said, noting that so far the programme has impacted 1,891 workers, with over 80 percent redeployed.

Last week M&S, which has more than 1,000 stores in Britain, reported another quarter of falling sales in both clothing and food, underscoring what looks set to be a long and uncertain road to recovery.

(Reporting by James Davey; editing by William Schomberg/Keith Weir)

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