Shoppers say they fear Marks & Spencer could be the latest store to disappear from the High Street.
Customers have now voiced concerns that M&S may “go the same way as Woolworths and BHS” as the retail giant gets ready to reveal plans to shut down 60 of its shops as a result of a fall in profits.
M&S is now being urged to focus its energies on making its fashion offering more on-trend, rather than closing stores.
In interviews following the closure announcement, customers gave their own opinions about what M&S must do to stop profits from plummeting.
In Liverpool, 74-year-old Monica Morely said: “They need to get their act together with the clothes. Women our age don’t have to dress like old people.”
Meanwhile, in Birmingham, retired couple Chris, 62, and Roy Reynolds, 70, said: ‘They need to up their game on new fashion, House of Fraser is leaving them behind.It’s been a couple of year since we started to notice the decline of the stores. The smaller ones are just rubbish as they don’t have the stock. I wouldn’t miss them if they went.’
And, 65-year-old Geoffrey Smith said: ‘It is a real shame. I hope it doesn’t go the same way as Woolworths and BHS.”
The comments come following an announcement from new M&S chief executive Steve Rowe, who took on the top job from Dutchman Marc Bolland six months ago.
He has revealed he will be closing down a total of 53 stores in 10 countries, which are understood to be France, China, Belgium, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.
The closures will include shutting a flagship store in Paris, one of the world’s fashion capitals, as well as a further six shop shut downs in France, and the closure of 10 branches in China, which was once seen as a burgeoning market for the British brand.
Rather than closing completely, a number of M&S’s fashion stores will be replaced with food shops, which are a more successful part of its current business model.
M&S’s expected announcement comes following reports that the High Street is suffering 15 shop closures every day. Fashion stores have been hit hardest
The store is expected to make an official announcement on its plans next week and so far says it will not comment on speculation.