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Staff face uncertain future as Marks and Spencer to cut 60 clothing and home stores

PUBLISHED: 09:53 08 November 2016 | UPDATED: 10:43 08 November 2016

Lorna Tritton, Laura Dillon and Shammi Lal celebrating Marks and Spencer's 50th anniversary in February at the High Road, Ilford branch.

Lorna Tritton, Laura Dillon and Shammi Lal celebrating Marks and Spencer's 50th anniversary in February at the High Road, Ilford branch.

Archant

Long-standing high street chain Marks and Spencer (M&S) announced today that over the next five years, it will have 60 fewer clothing and home stores.

A spokeswoman confirmed that 30 of the stores will be closed and 45 will be downsized or turned into simply food shops.

The announcement could leave staff at store, based in High Road, Ilford, facing an uncertain future.

“There is no announcement on specific stores,” said the spokeswoman.

“We are just talking about the programme of change over the next five years.

“Where change takes place, we will be working with colleagues and our priority will be to talk to colleagues.”

In the 26 weeks to September 2015, the company’s profits before tax was £284million but in the 26 weeks to October 2016, profits fell to £231.6million - a loss of 18.6 per cent.

The retailer said the downward trend was due to lower clothing and home sales.

“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,” said CEO, Steve Rowe.

“Our aim is to build a sustainable business which will delight our customers, provide a robust

foundation for future growth and deliver value for our shareholders in the long term.”

In July last year, the popular M&S cafe was closed as part of a downsize plan.

In a Recorder poll, 57 pc of respondents said they would stop shopping at the store.

Would you stop shopping in Ilford Town Centre altogether if Marks and Spencer was to close? Take our new poll.


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