British retailer Marks And Spencer to shut more than 100 stores by 2022

Marks And Spencer did not specify the number of job losses but thousands of positions are believed to be at risk. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (AFP) - British food-to-clothing retailer Marks & Spencer will shut more than 100 "underperforming" UK stores in an ongoing restructuring, it said on Tuesday (May 22).

The high-street chain has expanded its closure plans as it aims to shift at least a third of sales online, the group announced in a statement.

The London-listed giant did not specify the number of job losses, but thousands of positions are believed to be at risk, according to media.

"M&S will now close over 100 stores in total by 2022, including 21 that have already closed and the 14 stores that are announced today as proposed for closure or set to close," the company said.

M&S had in November 2016 launched a five-year overhaul of its UK stores amid fierce competition from supermarkets and budget garment chain Primark, as well as online giants like Amazon.

The restructuring was accelerated last year.

"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," said Sacha Berendji, M&S retail, operations and property director.

The retailer, which had a total of 1,035 stores at the end of its 2017/2018 financial year, will publish its annual results on Wednesday.

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