Food boost in M&S shake-up
UK: Retailer Marks & Spencer has announced increased commitment to its food business after a a shake-up of its estate and closures affecting its clothing business.
In plans announced today, M&S says it will transform its UK estate over the next five years with around 60 fewer Clothing & Home stores, whilst continuing to increase the number of its Simply Food stores.
Poor performance in its clothing business saw pre-tax profits fall 18.6% to £231.3m in the six months to October 1. Marks & Spencer’s food business, meanwhile, continues to outperform the market. With total food sales increasing by 4%, industry figures suggest its market share increased by 20 basis points in the most recent quarter.
M&S said it would continue with its previously announced plans to open over 200 new Simply Food stores by the end of 2018/19. The changes announced today will also include downsizing or replacing around 45 full line stores to Simply Food stores.
“We opened 21 net new stores as we continue to expand the reach of our food offer,” M&S CEO Steve Rowe revealed. “The performance of new Simply Food stores was ahead of expectations with stores opened in the past year exceeding sales forecasts by 17%.”
Although also proposing to close all of its 53 wholly-owned stores in ten loss-making markets, including China, France, Belgium, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania and Slovakia, its food business in France will continue.
Steve Rowe said that its franchised food business in France would continue “where there is demand for our quality, innovative products at convenient locations”.
“We will continue to operate owned businesses in the Republic of Ireland, Hong Kong and Czech Republic, which are profitable with strong brand awareness, established store estates and loyal customers,” he added.
Latest news from the world of air conditioning and refrigeration
UK: Industrial refrigeration contractor Stonegrove Refrigeration has appointed Steve Gowing as design and project engineer.
UK: Javac UK, the refrigerant recovery and vacuum pump supplier, has been named as Climate Centers’ Supplier of the Year for the second year running.
UK: Ruskin Air Management has been renamed Swegon Air Management following its acquisition by the Swedish manufacturer Swegon.
SWEDEN: Heat exchanger manufacturer SWEP is to close its manufacturing plant in Tentlingen, Switzerland, moving production to factories in Slovakia and Sweden.
USA: Seven local residents are reported to be suing Honeywell after a chemical leak at its Geismar, Louisiana, plant in August.
BELGIUM: Daikin Europe’s factory in the Czech Republic has joined the group’s factory in Ostend by becoming certified to the BRE’s responsible sourcing standard.
USA: Parker Hannifin and Daikin were the big winners in a unique competition designed to raise the level of awareness of the HVACR industry both in school and government.
DENMARK: Refrigeration wholesaler Beijer Ref has merged two of its Danish companies to form Aircon Teknik A/S.