Marks & Spencer to close last French store

Marks & Spencer will still be present in France, but only through its 17 food shops, and online

Favourite British brand Marks & Spencer is to close its very last store in Paris, six years after the company’s hailed return to the capital.

On October 31, the Marks & Spencer on the Champs-Elysée will close its doors for the very last time, with 517 workers set to lose their jobs as a result, reports French newspaper Le Monde.

Marks & Spencer will still be present in France, but only through its 17 food shops, and online.

The company has pledged that each employee to lose their job will continue to receive their usual salary for one year, and will be given up to €12,000 towards further training. This could cost the company up to €20 million, according to estimates by workers’ union Seci-UNSA.

The closure of the Paris site comes six years after it opened in 2011, which in itself had been hailed as a “return” for the brand to France, ten years after it was forced to closed 18 shops across the country and put 1,700 people out of work.

The Paris closure will also mark the final non-food Marks & Spencer shop to shut in France; the company’s four other shops - in the centres of Beaugrenelle (Paris 15th arrondissement), So Ouest (Levallois-Perret) Aéroville (Tremblay-en-France) and Quartz (Villeneuve-la-Garenne) - closed in early September this year.

The closure has come about after the company failed to secure any buyers for the site, including from companies that have jumped on similar opportunities before, such as Galleries Lafayette, Primark or Zara.

This could be a sign of a wider crisis in fashion retail, according to some analyses.

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