Marks & Spencer says adieu to France amid “near impossible” supply chain


Marks and Spencer Group PLC (LSE:MKS) is to say adieu to eleven stores in France as it exits the country amid “near impossible” post-Brexit stock chaos.

The British retailer is retaining nine stores in travel locations including outlets in airports and stations, all of which are operated by Lagardere Travel Retail.

“The supply chain complexities in place following the UK’s exit from the European Union, now make it near impossible for us to serve fresh and chilled products to customers to the high standards they expect, resulting in an ongoing impact to the performance of our business,” said M&S director Paul Friston.

M&S previously reported a GBP6.2mln dent in its international business in 2020 as a result of Brexit through lower overseas sales, though in August it flagged improved UK grocery sales and online clothes sales as factor in an upgraded profit outlook.

Swiss bank UBS, meanwhile, said the retailer was “on a clear path of improvement” as it upgraded to ‘buy’ with a 230p price target.

August’s profit upgrade was likely helped by some pent-up demand in C&H but even so, there was clear evidence of improvement in execution, says UBS, which sees this as just the first of a series of upgrades.

Next month, M&S will give investors further insight with a fresh strategy update slated for October 7.


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