Lincolnshire

Lincolnshire Marks & Spencer clothing stores could close within five years

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Some 60 Marks & Spencer stores across the country are in line for closure or conversion to a food only outlet over the next five years, putting several Lincolnshire branches at risk.

The High Street retailer has announced, as part of its six monthly review due to lower clothing and home sales, that the company will be looking to re-evalute its structure.

The brand will enact a five-year plan to improve productivity of UK Store Estate by repositioning around 25% of its clothing and home space with a cost of circa £50 million per annum for the first three years.

It is currently unknown if any Lincolnshire stores will be impacted by the change.

As a result of the review, which started in April, around 30 stores across the country will close altogether, with others becoming Simply Food stores.

Marks & Spencer will continue its plan to open an additional 200 Simple Food stores by the end of 2018/19, including one in Lincoln and one in Skegness.

Artist's impressions of the new M&S Foodhall off Tritton Road.

Artist’s impressions of the new M&S Foodhall off Tritton Road.

Shoppers at the Lincoln High Street M&S told Lincolnshire Business on Tuesday, November 8: “We shop here for the food, but vary rarely buy clothes.”

The company’s half yearly report stated the reason behind the changes are due to a change in customer’s shopping patterns as they migrate to online orders rather than in store.

Steve Rowe, M&S CEO, said: “We have now completed a forensic review of our estate both in the UK and in our International markets.

“Over the next five years we will transform our UK estate with around 60 fewer Clothing & Home stores, whilst continuing to increase the number of our Simply Food stores.

“In the future, we will have more inspiring stores in places where customers want to shop that complement our growing digital offer.

“These are tough decisions, but vital to building a future M&S that is simpler, more relevant, multi-channel and focused on delivering sustainable returns.”