M&S to cross channel again



Marks and Spencer’s have announced plans to re-cross the channel, and will re-enter the French retail market after a 10 year absence.

Marks and Spencer revealed plans to over a 15,000 sq foot store in France, on the Champs-Elysees in Paris later in 2011.

The store, who have enjoyed a small turn in fortunes in the UK, are also in talks to take a number of Simply Food stores, via Franchise, into other stores in Paris.

M&S closed all their European stores in 2001 in order to concentrate on their struggling UK arm, although now plan to create an international online service.

Marc Bolland, Chief Executive, revealed that “Marks and Spencer has great brand awareness here in France and a place in customers’ hearts.”

With both the store and the website expected to be open for the busy Christmas period experts have admitted M&S are right to look outside of the UK market to expand.

Mothercare and Dixons have both issued profits warnings this year, as the government cuts begin to bite.

“They seem to be going into the market in a more sensible fashion, adapting to the local market environment, which is something M&S has been criticised for in the past,” said analyst Kate Calvert from Seymour Pierce.

“This is something that’s building up for the longer-term growth of the business. But they have rather a lot to do in the UK to address short-term issues,” she added.

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