Marks and Spencer continued plans to close branches deemed to have “lower productivity”, announcing plans to close 67 more stores.
The branches are expected to close over the next five years, as part of the 110 stores previously slated for closure.
So far, the company has not released a full list of stores expected to close or clarified the fate of the affected workers.
Marks and Spencer hopes the closures will save the business around £300million.
In its annual report, Marks and Spencer announced revenue of £11.9 billion and pre-tax profit of £475.7 million.
The initial announcement of planned closures dates back to November 2016, when the high street giant confirmed it had offered 110 underperforming stores for the chopping block by 2022.
As part of a decade-long restructuring plan, the retailer wanted to move away from its struggling homewares and clothing branch into its food business.
In line with this vision, the chain is set to open 104 “bigger and fresher” grocery stores.
In 2021, the company announced plans to reduce its number of clothing and home stores from 247 to 180, while expanding its Simply Food division from 316 to 420.
Marks and Spencer was founded in 1884
Marks and Spencer’s restoration plans first came into effect with the closure of six stores in 2017, although plans were accelerated in May 2018 when the retailer announced that more than 100 clothing stores would close by 2022.
Twelve months later, Marks and Spencer has once again revised its plans, increasing the number of clothing store closures to 120 with a new deadline of 2024.
It comes as M&S chief executive Stuart Machin slammed Michael Gove’s decision to block the retail giant’s plans to redevelop its Oxford Street flagship store in London as a “short-sighted act of self-sabotage”.
Machin said: “After a two-year process where our proposals were supported at every stage, our investment in 2,000 jobs, building one of London’s most sustainable buildings, improving the public realm and creating a flagship store, is now effectively in the freezer.”
The retailer is looking to expand its food production.
Conservation group SAVE Britain’s Heritage, architects, engineers and celebrities such as actress Kristin Scott-Thomas were among those who opposed the redevelopment plans.
M&S chairman Archie Norman also told shareholders he was “unhappy” with the performance of the joint venture with Ocado and acknowledged there was “work to be done”.
Making it clear that the feeling was mutual, Ocado chief executive Tim Steiner said the company was “not where we want to be” at this point.
Steiner said, “If we look at where we were in 2019 and what we hoped the business was trading in right now, it’s obviously disappointing.”
Ocado partnered with M&S in a deal worth an estimated £750million and boasted it offered a “profitable and scalable presence in the online grocery market”.