Marks & Spencer Group (LON:MKS) is set to speed up its store closure programme this week, The Sunday Times has reported. The move will come as the blue-chip retailer updates investors on its full-year performance on Wednesday.
Marks & Spencer’s share price has jumped in London this morning, having gained 0.99 percent to 297.50p as of 09:32 BST. The shares are outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.69 percent to 7,832.28 points.
M&S to step up store closures
The Sunday Times reported yesterday that Marks & Spencer was expected to increase the total number of closures of its ‘full line’ stores, or stores which sell both clothing and food, from 60 to 100. The retailer’s chief executive Steve Rowe has reportedly been encouraged by the early results of store closures such as the one in Warrington town centre, where most of the sales have been switched to a newer out-of-town store. The retailer announced the move last month, as part of Rowe’s ongoing transformation programme, saying at the time that it was looking to simplify its network.
The news comes ahead of M&S’ results on Wednesday, when the blue-chip retailer is expected to post a drop in full-year profits. The Sunday Times further quoted analysts at Barclays as noting that they were braced for news of higher costs, higher spending and product price cuts.
Analysts on blue-chip retailer
Liberum Capital reiterated its ‘sell’ rating on Marks & Spencer on Friday, while Deutsche Bank continues to see the blue-chip retailer as a ‘hold’. According to MarketBeat, the FTSE 100 company currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 324.82p.