M&S to close 32 stores as part of move away from town centres

File photo dated 07/11/2021 of a Marks and Spencer on Oxford Street in London, who said it is leavin

M&S will be closing 32 of its stores, as part of plans to move away from town centres. - Credit: PA

M&S will be closing 32 of its stores, as part of plans to move away from town centres.

The move comes as the retail giant says such urban locations have "lost impetus".

M&S blames this on "failed local authority or government policy" as well as the effects of “increasing cost pressures and consumer uncertainty”.

This will see a "high proportion, but not all" of its stores relocated to the edge of towns, to more "modern" and "well-located" sites.

There are currently 12 M&S locations in Norfolk. 

  • Norwich, Rampant Horse Street 
  • Mousehold BP garage, Mousehold Lane 
  • Norwich, Sweet Briar, Simply Food 
  • Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, WHSmith, Colney Lane 
  • Gridserve Norwich, Broadlands Gate Business Park 
  • Norwich, Longwater Foodhall 
  • Acle Norwich BP, A47 roundabout, Acle bypass 
  • Aylsham BP, A140 Burgh Road, Aylsham 
  • Besthorpe BP, Attleborough bypass, Besthorpe 
  • Lynn Hill BP, Yaxham Road, Dereham 
  • Gapton Hall Foodhall, Gapton Hall Retail Park, Great Yarmouth
  • High Street, King's Lynn

In its latest business report online, M&S state: "We are now developing a growing pipeline of store relocations, moving from old multi-floor buildings, often with challenged fabric and poor access and car parking, to modern, well-located sites wherever possible in the renewal format with omni-channel capability.

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"Moving away from town centres is not our only focus, but we recognise that in an omni-channel world, ease of shopping and fast access is critical to competitiveness.

"The full-line store pipeline already has around 15 new stores planned over the next three years, including seven former Debenhams sites, and we expect this to build further. This will help enable a further 32 store closures."

M&S has not yet revealed which of its 32 stores are closing.