Marks & Spencer to close Champs-Elysées flagship says report
Marks & Spencer is planning to close its Champs-Elysées, Paris flagship and will officially announce the closure when it delivers a strategy review on November 8, according to reports.
Sources familiar with the plan told Bloomberg that the retailer wants to close the store as part of a plan to cut costs and focus on core operations in Britain. The company has declined to comment.
The 1,400 m² store was opened under former CEO Marc Bolland in 2010 but his successor Steve Rowe has been less keen on large international outlets and recently cancelled plans for an Amsterdam launch. He is currently working to return the company to growth with cost cuts a key part of his plan.
Rowe has already announced a change in fashion product strategy with a move away from chasing trends, as well as 525 head office job cuts.
If the reports are true, it would be the firm’s second scaling-back in France. A turnaround plan in 2001 saw it quitting the market as it focused on its core UK stores.
Bloomberg said a repeat of that UK focus would be popular with M&S shareholders with a Sanford C Bernstein survey this month showing 47% of retail investors wanting a scaled-back international operation and 20% favouring a complete withdrawal.
The company currently has 480 stores outside the UK and 914 in Britain. Profits have fallen at the international unit and it has been hurt by the pound’s plunge since Britain voted to leave the EU.
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