British department store chain Marks & Spencer feels the need to reduce twenty of its major stores in size and seeks ways to turn higher floors into offices or apartments.
The chain is yet to announce which stores are involved, but This is Money thinks especially urban stores in expensive shopping streets are likely victims. Among them is flagship store Marble Arch in the middle of London, a store with seven floors and a total sales area of almost 15,000 sqm, including staff training facilities and a press room. For many people, this flagship store is still the beating hart of the British chain.
According to the plans, the lower floors would continue to be part of the store, while the upper part will be let after a renovation changes them into offices or living spaces. As e-commerce has forced the number of store visitors down, many shops have become way too big. Other stores have already been closed as part of a restructuring programme, while another series of stores has been moved to a smaller location.