UK high street chain Marks & Spencer’s (M&S) CEO Steve Rowe has revealed to the company’s shareholders that plans to close 110 stores are ‘not finite.’
At the company’s annual general meeting, Rowe also noted that the retailer’s portfolio of stores was ‘holding it back,’ according to a report by The Independent.
M&S chair Archie Norman added that it is the price that the retailer is now paying for ‘not shutting the stores’ two decades ago.
In its full year results statement, released in May this year, the retailer announced a major overhaul that included plans to close 85 department stores and 25 Simply Food locations.
The store closures are part of plans to meet a cost savings target of at least £350m by 2020/21.
Norman told The Independent: “Somewhere along the line, the organisation we inherited became slow, unaccountable and lost the voice of the stores. If we hear the voice of the stores, we will grow.”
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The retailer closed 35 full-line stores in the fiscal year 2018/19 as part of its transformation programme.
M&S also opened 48 new stores and closed 26 full-line stores during the fiscal year in an effort to re-shape its UK store portfolio.
The retailer also expanded the transformation programme, initiated the larger store redevelopment planning and confirmed a joint venture with online supemarket Ocado to unlock profitable growth for M&S Food.