Marks & Spencer store closures
Inside Retail reported that Marks & Spencer will close 100 stores over the next 4 years, which is about 10% of their current portfolio. The most affected verticals will be clothing and home, with one in three stores disappearing. Interestingly, about 18% of clothing and homewares sales are transacted online and none in the grocery space (over 600 M&S stores just sell food), and groceries are doing just fine. This reinforces our view that retailers have to be very careful about moving their brick & mortar sales online. Unless such a move substantially increases the overall market share, it could undermine and damage the core business.