M&S reviews future of French stores

Spokeswoman said that retailer is not reviewing its Irish business

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14 September 2021 | 0

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The future of Marks and Spencer’s 20 French stores is currently being reviewed, following deliveries of UK-made fresh and chilled foods experiencing border delays as a result of post-Brexit customs arrangements.

“In light of the new customs arrangements we are taking decisive steps to reconfigure our European operations and have already made changes to food export into [the] Czech Republic,” M&S said on Monday.

A spokeswoman said the current review was specific to France.

“We are not reviewing the Irish business,” she said. “The [EU] checks have had an impact on our food operations on the island of Ireland, and we are implementing multiple medium-term solutions to stabilise the business in both the North and the Republic.”

“We operate a franchise business in France, and are currently undertaking a review of the model with our two partners in the market,” the company added.

M&S could have to close some of its stores in France, which are operated by franchise partners Lagardère and SFH Invest, or stop selling sandwiches and chilled food there, the Mail on Sunday reported.

In July, the retailer said some of its festive product range will not be available at Irish stores, including Northern Irish stores, this Christmas because of the risk of delays to fresh foods due to cross-border arrangements.

The Irish Times reports that this year the company replaced fresh and chilled foods in its 18 Czech stores with frozen foods and other products with a longer shelf life following issues with fresh food deliveries.

 

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