The review has looked at the performance and potential of each of the Group’s international markets. Last year the Group’s owned businesses in ten markets made a loss of £45m on revenues of £171m, and some markets have now been loss making for at least five years. Marks & Spencer is proposing to close all of its 53 wholly-owned stores in these ten markets, including ten in China and seven in France, as well as its stores in Estonia, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Romania, the Netherlands, Belgium and Lithuania. The Group is today starting discussions with its 39 employees in Lithuania on the proposals. Marks & Spencer is fully committed to complying with all local employment legislation in Lithuania.
The Group will continue to operate owned businesses in the Republic of Ireland, Hong Kong and Czech Republic, which are more profitable with strong brand awareness, established store estates and loyal customers.
In summary, Marks & Spencer remains fully committed to an international strategy and believes its proposals would create a more sustainable, profitable and customer-focused International business for M&S.