octobre 25, 2021

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Marks & Spencer blames Brexit for cutting 800 lines in Republic of Ireland stores, closing 11 stores in France

Retail giant Marks & Spencer has had to cut 800 lines from its stores in the Republic of Ireland, including items such as chicken, orchid or merchandise containing Parmesan Reggiano.

The changes are the result of the complicated rules and excessive paperwork caused by Brexit.

The store also said it would close 11 of its stores in France due to fresh and refrigerated food supply issues after Brexit.

The group blamed the disruption of Brexit on exports from the UK to Europe for its decision to close all franchise stores with partner SFH in France.

She said: “The lengthy and complex export operations now in place after the UK’s exit from the European Union significantly restrict the supply of fresh and chilled products from the UK to Europe and continue to affect product availability to customers and the performance of our business in France.”

Stores, located mainly on the main streets of Paris, are set to close by the end of the year.

M&S said it was still in discussions with partner Lagardere Travel Retail about its nine remaining French stores located in airports and railway stations, which it said was continuing to trade as usual.

The group added that its website in France, which mainly sells clothing and household products, was not affected.

Paul Friston, Managing Director of M&S International, said: “M&S has a long history of serving customers in France, and this is not a decision we or our partner SFH would take lightly.

“However, as today, the complexities of the post-UK exit supply chain are now making it nearly impossible for us to deliver fresh and chilled produce to customers to the high standards they expect, resulting in a continuing impact on our business performance.”

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The move comes after it emerged over the weekend that Marks & Spencer was looking to close stores in France as part of a review of its operations there in light of post-Brexit trade rules and product availability.

M&S restructured its Czech business in April after Britain left the European Union, removing all fresh and refrigerated produce from stores and doubling its ranges of frozen and long-life products.

The group warned last week of further disruption expected when the grace period for trade and goods coming into the UK from the continent begins to expire.

Last month, Marks & Spencer raised its profit targets after seeing a 10.8 percent jump in food sales during the 19 weeks through August and soaring online clothing sales.