Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

M&S to axe jobs and close stores

Published:  07 January, 2009

Marks & Spencer is on a mission to cut costs after unveiling group sales down 1.2% in the 13 weeks to December 27.

In the UK, like for like sales were down 7.1%, and food sales down 5.2%. The retailer has earmarked 27 stores for closure, including 25 underperforming Simply Food stores and two small chain stores. The closures will see the loss of 780 jobs with a further 450 jobs expected to go at head office.

In addition, 450 redundancies are expected at head office, representing 15% of the workforce there. Chairman Sir Stuart Rose said: "We are aware that the proposed changes will be difficult for the members of staff impacted, but given that we expect challenging economic conditions to continue for at least the next 12 months we believe we are taking the right action to maintain the strength of our business." 

M&S said its margins would be lower this year due to discounting, like the two days of sales where prices were cut by 20%.

It hopes the measures will see annual running costs cut by between £175m and £200m.

But there was some good news with M&S reporting December 23 as a record day for food sales, with sales of more than £50m.