MARKS and Spencer have confirmed the latest locations of stores that will shut down in the latest blow to customers.

The posh retailer has 405 stores across the country and is a high street staple.

Marks and Spencer has confirmed the locations of the stores set to close in just weeks

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Marks and Spencer has confirmed the locations of the stores set to close in just weeksCredit: Getty
The retail giant plans to pull out 67 stores from the UK high streets and malls

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The retail giant plans to pull out 67 stores from the UK high streets and mallsCredit: Avalon.red

But the retail giant is set to close 10 stores in just a few weeks amid plans for a portfolio shake-up.

M&S earlier said it wanted to restructure its business and put more focus on its food-only stores.

In October 2022 it announced it would shut 67 “lower productivity” locations over the following five years.

In February, the retailer confirmed it would close its store at the Broadway Shopping Centre in Bradford.

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Branded as “absolutely brilliant” by shoppers on Google Reviews, the store is set to pull down the shutters on May 18.

Vickie Smith, M&S regional manager, said: “We would like to thank all customers who have shopped with us at our Bradford Broadway store.

“The store will close on May 18 and we are continuing discussions with colleagues about what this decision means for them.

“Wherever possible, we will offer them alternative roles with M&S.

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“Shopping habits are changing and so we’re rotating our store estate to make sure we have the right stores in the right place and with the right space.”

And now M&S has revealed it will also shut down the Queensgate Shopping Centre store in Peterborough on April 20.

Here is the full list of M&S sites closing in just a few weeks:

  • Queensgate Shopping Centre, Peterborough – April 20, 2024
  • Green Street, Neath – May 2024
  • St Nicholas Street, Aberdeen – 2025
  • St Mary Street, Weymouth – exact date to be confirmed
  • High Street West, Sunderland – exact date to be confirmed
  • Maidens Walk, Hexham – exact date to be confirmed
  • Broadway Shopping Centre, Bradford – May 18
  • Exchange, Ilford, East London – exact date to be confirmed
  • King William Street, Blackburn – exact date to be confirmed
  • Walworth Road, Walworth, South London – exact date to be confirmed

Shoppers have been left devastated after learning that the M&S stores are closing in a matter of weeks.

One said “Stores are going left right and centre” while another added, “so disappointed”.

A third dejected shopper said: “What’s closing next”.

And fourth shared: “RIP high street shopping.”

The 67 sites that are set to close come as part of a wider radical restructuring plan first announced in 2016, which aimed to close 110 stores by 2022.

When M&S first announced the closures, it said it hoped they would save the business £300million in total.

Why are M&S stores closing?

In November 2016, the high street chain said that it had marked 110 low-performing stores for closure or change as part of a big 10-year restructuring plan.

Store closures began in April 2017 when the first six stores were announced would shut.

In May 2018, M&S then announced that it was accelerating its plans with over 110 clothes stores due to close by 2022.

By May 2019, M&S revised its plans to 120 clothing store closures by April 2024.

It also added 25 food stores to the firing line, saying they face being axed or relocated.

In 2021 the 30 store closures came after a year of high street retailers battling to survive as a result of the Covid crisis.

As non-essential shops were ordered to close during several national lockdowns in 2020 and 2021, many retailers’ sales, including M&S, took a big hit.

In 2022, the changes come as it faces a tough consumer backdrop, rising inflation and a £100million hit from soaring energy costs.

The retailer has said that it is accelerating its store overhaul to save around £309million in rent costs.

M&S has previously said that it was focused on moving out of tired stores on high streets with low footfall in favour of relocating to retail parks, which continue to prove popular with shoppers.

But it wasn’t just closures that the retailer announced – the chain also said it would open 104 new “bigger and fresher” food stores.

Cities like Leeds and Liverpool have already become home to new M&S stores.

Nine openings in November included six new stores plus three store renewals.

It also plans to open over 100 bigger Foodhall sites by 2028.

M&S plans to operate 180 full-line (which include clothing, home and food) and 400 food halls in the next five years.

The new openings will bring investment in new stores to £480million, M&S said in May last year.

Flagship M&S stores have popped up in several major UK cities this year, with more openings to come this year.

List of new M&S stores that have opened

  • Purley Way – April, 2023
  • Leeds White Rose – May, 2023
  • Stockport – June, 2023
  • Liverpool ONE – August, 2023
  • Birmingham Bullring – November, 2023
  • Uckfield – November, 2023
  • Barnsley – Autumn, 2023
  • Earlsfield – November, 2023
  • Lakeside Thurrock – November, 2023
  • Manchester Trafford Centre – Winter 2023
  • Largs – expected Spring 2024
  • Dundee – expected Spring 2024

What else is happening on the high street?

The high street has been hit hard in recent years as shoppers increasingly turn their attention to online retail.

High energy and wage costs and business rates have further piled pressure on businesses, forcing many to close.

Several major brands have crashed into administration since the start of 2023, including Wilko and Paperchase.

In recent months, The Body Shop and Ted Baker have both fallen into administration too, seeing dozens of stores closed already.

Other retailers have been closing shops in a bid to reduce their physical presence across the UK.

Last June, Boots said it would be shutting 300 of its 2,200 stores in areas where it already operates one.

Superdry started closing eight of its 104 UK branches last July as part of a £35million cost-cutting project.

But, as is the case with M&S, it’s not all bad news as a number of chains are opening branches too.

B&M has opened 17 branches already this year, while Aldi has its eyes set on opening hundreds more branches in the coming years.

DIY chain Screwfix is also set to open dozens of branches as its owner Kingfisher looks to expand its nationwide presence.

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Major supermarket chain Asda has also been opening dozens of branches across the UK.

WHSmith also recently announced plans to open more stores in rail stations, airports and hospitals.

This post first appeared on thesun.co.uk

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