Brexit claims another victim: Marks & Spencer has confirmed it will close about half of its French stores, 11 in total, as the new strict border controls leave its Parisian stores with empty shelves.
11 stores to close
Eleven stores will be closed, M&S has specified correcting earlier reports by some British media. There seems to be an ebb and flow dynamic in M&S's relationship with Europe: in 2001, the chain retreated from the Continent to the UK, ten years later it expanded again and another ten years later Brexit has forced the chain to partially retreat again, RetailGazette reports.
On Tuesday, British media had said that Marks & Spencer was planning to scale back its French operations due to the strict border formalities. As trucks are subject to lengthy delays, hundreds of tons of food have been wasted because of the increased border checks. The retail chain has some twenty stores in France, mainly in Paris.
In the footsteps of Czechia
Earlier this year, Marks & Spencer also revised its operations in Czechia, removing all fresh and chilled food from the stores and replacing it with products with long shelf life. It may well be that the remaining French stores will follow suit.
The retailer declined to comment on the potential store closures. "We operate a franchise business in France and are evaluating the model with our two partners", a spokesperson said.