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Professor John Colley on M&S profits slump and store closures

Professor John Colley, expert in Strategy and Leadership at Warwick Business School, comments on the reports of a sharp drop in annual profits at Marks and Spencer and their plans to close 100 stores by 2022.

“Marks and Spencer’s are paying the price for high cost service and a brand which people do not consider to be worth the price premium in a very competitive market. Alternative offerings are closing the gap with Marks but at significantly lower prices. In less affluent parts of the country customers can not afford the price differential and hence the closures”.

“Ultimately, it is death by a thousand cuts for Marks until they can adequately differentiate the product and service to earn the premium. Increases in staff costs and high rents whilst stiff internet and bricks and mortars store competitor means a squeeze on profits. They have also been slow into internet deliveries which again is taking its toll”.