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Hundreds of jobs at risk with closure of two M&S distribution centres

Marks & Spencer has announced that it plans to shut two major distribution centres in 2021; the news came as a blow to hundreds of employees.

On Thursday, the multi-national retail giant confirmed that the site in Long Eaton, Derbyshire and the centre in Thorncliffe, Sheffield will be closed next summer. The Long Eaton centre is run by the logistics firm DHL, whereas the Thorncliffe site is managed by rival operator XPO. Together, they employ 662.

The struggling retailer is currently remodelling its warehouse network in an attempt to reduce spending and improve stock availability which has proven to be a long-term issue in its high street stores.

For the past two decades, M&S has been trying to reinvent itself but with little success. Its chief executive, Steve Rowe, and chairman, Archie Norman, assure the public that these new strategies will have a more successful impact.

The company, which recently lost its place in the FTSE 100, is redesigning its clothing and food ranges to broaden its appeal and attract the younger generation.

Last year, it told investors that its logistics network was holding it back because it was “complex and high cost” and too slow at replenishing stores.

An M&S spokesman said: “We’re in the early stages of changing our supply chain to address flow of product and availability for our customers.

“As part of this we’ll no longer be serving our stores from our Thorncliffe and Long Eaton distribution centres.

“Moving the operations is not a decision we’ve taken lightly but it’s an important change to help us best serve our customers as we move to a nationally connected network. Our logistics partners will be working closely with the colleagues at the sites on what is best for them.”