One of our high-street favourites, Marks & Spencer, have announced that they are shutting a further 17 stores, as part of their long-term bid to cut costs in the business.
This is the latest round of shop closures for the retailer, who announced in 2017 that they will be closing 100 stores over the next few years, overall as part of their new restructuring plan.
It means that M&S are closing one in three of their main stores - those which house all of their departments, including clothing, food, beauty and homeware.
So which shops were recently announced to be closing? On Tuesday 15th January, they unveiled plans to close several stores in the North, including their main Hull venue.
The new plan will also see many closures in the South East, in Kent and Bedfordshire.
So which stores are closing?
- Northwich, in Cheshire
- Luton Arndale
- Deal, Kent
- Sutton Coldfield
- Cwmbran, Wales
- Boston, Lincolnshire
- Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria
- Ashford, Kent
- Antrim (the Junction)
Further M&S shops that have closed:
So far, Marks & Spencer have shut down over 30 stores as part of their revamp plans.
The stores are:
- New Mersey Speke
- Fforestfach, Pembrokeshire
- Covent Garden
Eight more stores were marked as set to close last year, but have not yet been. These are: Wigan, St. Helens (reloction), East Kilbride, Edgware Boardwalk, Falmouth, Llandudno (relocation) and Holloway Road.The stores are said to be some of Marks & Spencer's lowest-performing.
News of the most recent store closures has been swiftly followed the news that M&S may also be closing down some of their in-house fashion ranges.
Sacha Berendji, director of Retail at M&S commented on the latest closures, saying, "We are making good progress with our plans to reshape our store estate to be more relevant to our customers and support our online growth plans.
"Where we have closed stores, we are seeing an encouraging number of customers moving to nearby stores and enjoying shopping with us in a better environment, which is why we're continuing to transform our estate with pace."
Despite the closures, Marks & Spencer is still a customer-favourite, with 19.5 million people shopping there every week. But it's also hugely popular with the royal family.
Back in 2017, Prince Harry's wife Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, caused one of their £45 jumpers to sell out, after she wore it on a visit to Brixton.
The bell-sleeve Autograph sweater was quickly snapped up by customers in stores and online, and it is still out of stock on the website.
Per Una possibly closing:
Back in 2018, M&S also announced that they are considered closing their in-house Per Una range, alongside some of their other labels.
The store admitted that they were conducting a review as part of the brand's huge new overhaul - and were evaluating the future of their Per Una range, their Limited Edition collection, and the Blue Harbour range, as part of their review.
However, it confessed that the Per Una range is most at risk, as the brand attempt to turn around the prospects of their clothing ranges.
Per Una, a collection aimed at under-35s, became one of the brand's biggest success stories when it launched in 2001. But it appears now, it could be facing the end of the line.
A spokesperson for M&S has told the Telegraph, “We’re continuing to review our sub-brands, some of which have lost their identity in recent years, in order to provide great value choices for stylish wardrobe essentials to our customers.”