British retail chain Marks & Spencer (M&S) has decided to close thirty stores domestically and fifty-three abroad, reports Hospodářské Noviny.
The company will completely leave Slovakia; operations in the Czech Republic will continue though select stores may refocus their offering on sales of food. M&S Simply Food debuted in Prague in 2015.
According to HN, the closure of overseas markets will affect China, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Estonia, Slovakia, and Lithuania. The company has decided to close all of its stores on these markets.
James Munson, general director of M&S Czech and Slovak divisions cites, “Continued losses and limited growth opportunities caused by the unsustainability of further business on the Slovak market,” as the company’s reason for leaving the country.
Marks & Spencer has confirmed that it will continue to operate its branches in the Czech Republic where the retailer has a stronger brand awareness, established branch stores, and loyal customers.
Whether it will refocus its activities in Czech stores on the sales of food exclusively, a spokesperson would not comment, though new CEO Steve Rowe says that, in Britain, M&S will close thirty stores while restricting forty-five to food-only sales.
The chain entered the Slovak market in 2007. It has seven stores in Slovakia and currently employs 174 people. In the Czech Republic, it has nineteen stores throughout the country, 9 of which are in Prague.