Marks and Spencer told to team up with AMAZON to save retailer as stores close | City & Business | Finance



A former digital boss at M&S the retail chain, whose top sellers include Percy Pig sweets and cashmere jumpers, should work with Amazon to make up lost ground with online shoppers.

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Marcus East, who led the firm’s digital strategy under former chief executive Marc Bolland, said: “I would agree that for a lot of retailers, whilst they’ve put up a great fight ultimately working with the likes of Amazon is probably a good way to tackle the digital space.”

Asked whether it was right a long-standing British firm like M&S works with aggressive US online giant in Amazon, Mr East told BBC 5 Live’s Wake up to Money programme: “I don’t know what the dynamics of the business are today, but they’ve got to be looking seriously at it.”

The news comes after M&S announced last month it would close one in three of its core clothing and home branches in a dramatic retreat from the UK high street that will trigger thousands of job losses.

M&S will close a total of 100 shops by 2022, after claiming that the closures were vital for the future of the struggling retail business.

Sacha Berendji, a director at Marks & Spencer said the company was trying to make its stores “more relevant” and better able to support the growth of its website.

Mrs Berendji told the Guardian: “Closing stores isn’t easy but it is vital for the future of M&S.

“Where we have closed stores, we are seeing an encouraging number of customers moving to nearby stores which is why we’re continuing to transform our estate with pace.”

Concern for some of the UK’s top shop has increased this year after a spate of negative headlines have dominated the year so far.

Last month, Homebase was sold for £1 after its Australian owner ended its “misguided” attempt to crack the UK market leaving the future of 12,000 workers and 250 stores at risk.

Another retail park giant, Mothercare also confirmed in May that it will close 50 stores across the country, cutting 800 jobs in another hit for British retailers.

In what has been a bad year for bricks and mortar retailers, so far in 2018 Toys R Us announced plan to close a further 75 stores in the UK; Carpetright said that it will close 92 of its 400 shops; Prezzo pizza confirmed that it will shut 94 of its 300 restaurants, putting around 500 jobs at risk, and Marks & Spencer announced that 14 stores would close.


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