Sun, 17 Oct 2021

LONDON, England: As new trade rules following Britain's departure from the European Union continue to impact product availability in stores, British retailer Marks & Spencer is reviewing the future of its French operations.

Marks & Spencer operates some 20 stores in France, with partners SFH and Lagardere.

"In light of the new customs arrangements, we are taking decisive steps to reconfigure our European operations and have already made changes to food exports into the Czech Republic," said a Marks & Spencer spokesperson, as quoted by Reuters.

"We operate a franchise business in France, and are currently undertaking a review of the model with our two partners in the market."

Earlier this year, Marks & Spencer restructured its Czech business, ending the sale of fresh foods and adding expanded ranges of longer life products.

Marks & Spencer did not comment on media reports on Sunday that it is expected to close stores in France.

Marks & Spencer Chairman Archie Norman has complained that the retailer has struggled to deliver goods into EU members Ireland and France since Britain left the EU's single market at the beginning of the year, due to the large amount of paperwork that was required.

Last month, Marks & Spencer upgraded its profit outlook after a jump in demand for food and a surge in online clothing sales indicated that its latest turnaround plan was successful.

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