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Major reshuffle for M&S

10 November 2016 - 10:55 by Simon Crisp

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Marks & Spencer has been a long standing institution on the high streets of the UK, but the rise of safe shopping online and the shift in consumer spending has caused it to enact a number of major strategy changes in recent years.

This week it announced that it will be shutting the doors of 30 stores across the country permanently, while also taking the decision to convert an additional 45 of its bricks and mortar outlets to focus solely on selling food, according to the Guardian.

This news comes as it struggles to deal with the decline of its clothing lines while simultaneously capitalising on the success of its grocery business.

Close to a fifth of all clothing sold by M&S at the moment is purchased by customers using safe shopping online, so the 10 per cent reduction in floor space dedicated to it at the remaining stores where it will be available may not be noticed by many customers.

Analysts also predict that because more people are seeking to buy fashion items online rather than in store, M&S will probably see this aspect of its business continue to shift to the digital realm.

Globally, an extra 53 outlets operated by the firm are getting the axe under the plans unveiled by chief exec, Steve Rowe. A total of 2,100 jobs are set to be lost as a result of this reshuffle, although Rowe was generally positive about the future of M&S and said that this plan should help it to stabilise and ultimately grow its presence.

Clothing prices have been cut and new ranges introduced to ensure that the key demographics targeted by the company at the moment remain loyal. And it seems it is only by embracing the web that M&S will be able to secure its future prosperity.