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M&S plans job cuts and store closures following Q3 results

Published: 7 January 2009
Marks and Spencer could cut more than 1000 jobs and close 27 stores after revealing terrible trading conditions in the run up to Christmas.
M&S plans job cuts and store closures following Q3 results
The Q3 results for the 13 weeks to 27 December, while showing a 1% rise in sales of the firm's home range and a boost for online trading, revealed falls in virtually every other area.

UK like for like sales were down 7.1%, with general merchandise falling 8.9%, food dropping 5.2% but online sales leaping 29%.

Overall group sales were down 1.2%, with UK sales down 3.4%.

M&S chairman, Sir Stuart Rose, has announced cost-cutting initiatives to reduce the chain's underlying cost base by £175m to £200m.

These cuts could see a proposed 1230 jobs going from the 25 Simply Food stores and two general stores in unnamed locations as well as from M&S's head office.

Sir Stuart said: "We have reviewed our store portfolio and, subject to consultation with staff, are proposing to close 27 stores.

"We are aware that the proposed changes will be difficult for those members of staff.

"But given we expect challenging economic conditions to continue for at least the next 12 months we believe we are taking the right action to maintain the strength of our business."

He added that he planned capital expenditure for 2008/09 to be no more than £700m and no more than £400m in 2009/10, with a 'broadly cash neutral' 2008/09.

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