UK high street retailer Marks & Spencer is planning to shut more than 100 stores by 2022.
The company has taken this decision as part of its UK store estate programme, under which it plans to take at least a third of sales online and reshape its clothing and home space.
Of the total 100 proposed stores, the retailer has closed 21 stores and proposed to close 14 clothing and home stores during 2018-19.
Marks & Spencer retail, operations and property director Sacha Berendji said: “We are making good progress with our plans to reshape our store estate to be more relevant to our customers and support our online growth plans.
“Closing stores isn’t easy, but it is vital for the future of M & S.
“Where we have closed stores, we are seeing an encouraging number of customers moving to nearby stores and enjoying shopping with us in a better environment, which is why we’re continuing to transform our estate with pace.”
As part of its transformative programme, the company will close Bayswater, Fleetwood and Newton Abbot Outlets by the end of July, as well as Clacton and Holloway Road stores by early-2019.
The remaining nine stores under the proposal include Darlington, East Kilbride, Falkirk, Kettering, Newmarket, New Mersey Speke, Northampton, Stockton, and Walsall.
These nine stores will enter a period of consultation, which will affect 626 employees, and the company plans to adjust all of them at other stores following the closure.
The company’s UK store estate programme is part of its five-year transformation plan to create fewer and enhanced clothing and home stores.