1. ITV Report

Four Marks & Spencer shops to close in the Anglia region

The Marks and Spencer shops in Clacton, Newmarket, Northampton and Kettering are among those earmarked for closure. Photo: Nick Ansell/PA Wire/PA Images

The Marks & Spencer shops in Clacton, Newmarket, Northampton and Kettering are among those earmarked for closure.

M&S has revealed another year of falling profits as the high street giant counts the cost of its transformation programme.

The retailer reported a 62% fall in pre-tax profit to nearly £67 million in the year to March 31 as it was dragged down by £321 million in costs linked to a store closure programme.

M&S is close more than 100 stores in total by 2022, including 21 that have already closed and 14 stores named this week as proposed for closure.

Four M&S shops in the Anglia region are earmarked for closure. Credit: Charlotte Ball/PA Wire/PA Images

The shop in Clacton in Essex will shut early in 2019 to coincide with the opening of a nearby M&S food store.

The department stores in Newmarket in Suffolk along with Northampton and Kettering are among a further nine shops which are proposed for closure. They will now enter a period of consultation with all 626 affected employees.

The company says staff would be redeployed or offered redeployment at other stores before redundancy is considered.

"At our half-year results in November I outlined the need for accelerated change at M&S.

"The first phase of our transformation plan, restoring the basics, is now well under way and the actions taken have increased the velocity of change running through our business.

"These changes come with short-term costs which are reflected in today's results."

– Steve Rowe, M&S Chief Executive
The Windsor branch of Marks & Spencer changed its name to Markle & Sparkle for the weekend of the Royal Wedding. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire/PA Images

The retailer's troubled clothing arm saw like-for-like sales fall by 1.9% in the year. Comparable food sales were down 0.3%.

Revenue nudged up 0.7% to £10.7 billion.

At the end of March 2018, M&S had 1,035 stores in the UK: 300 Clothing, Home and Food, 696 food-only and 39 outlets.

The Marks & Spencer shop in Basildon in Essex has already closed. The names of the remaining 65 shops which are earmarked for closure are not yet known.