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Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Marks and Spencer planning return to France

It's news to fair warm the cockles of any expat Brit's heart - no matter how misty their memories or tenuous their ties with Blighty might have become.

Oh yes, and the French surely won't be too disgruntled either.

British retailer Marks and Spencer (M&S) is reportedly on the brink of returning to France.


And what a comeback!

According to the French financial daily La Tribune, M&S boss Marc Bolland is close to a deal to take over the spot at 100 Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris currently occupied by the clothes retailer Esprit.

The paper reports that Esprit staff were told of the decision last week and that they'll be taken on when M&S opens its doors on "la plus belle avenue du monde".

Apparently not all of them were exactly thrilled at the prospect with one of them telling the paper, "We're very disappointed, we feel cheated."

Well there's no pleasing some people perhaps.

M&S is remaining tight-lipped about the whole thing at the moment and refusing to comment on what it calls "rumour and speculation regarding stores".

But as the Britain's Daily Telegraph points out, Bolland opened the door to a possible return across the Channel in releasing plans last November as to how the company intends to "grow business" as its website puts it, over the next five years.

"While we have 337 stores in 41 territories overseas, we are essentially a UK retailer that exports," he said.

"We have an opportunity to move on from this and become a more international retailer, reducing our dependency on the UK economic cycle."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/8293716/Marks-and-Spencer-plans-return-to-Paris.html

M&S shut up shop at all of its 38 European stores, including 18 in France, in 2001 with the loss of 3,350 jobs across the continent.

In March of that year the then-chairman, Luc Van de Velde, sent the company's 1,700 employees in France an email, informing them of the decision.

He's Belgian - which maybe explains his lack of manners!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hoooray!!! I can tell you, as a French Parisian, the Marks & Spencer store has been missed by thousands and thousands of aficionados who loved to shop there and buy delicious scones and Marmelade for breakfast!

Anonymous said...

That's great! I loved the food section, so I don't have to cross the channel anymore!

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