• Plan for closures expected to be announced next week at results 
  • M&S currently has 10 stores in China
  • Boss Rowe also expected to announce closure of Paris store

M&S boss Steve Rowe is reportedly planning to close some of the retailer’s stores in China as he moves away from its loss-making international operations.

Rowe is expected to announce the plans next week, Bloomberg reported, when the bellwether retailer reports interim results.

The continued retreat from China comes eight years after M&S launched in the key market with a store in Shanghai.

Last year, Rowe’s predecessor Marc Bolland shut five smaller regional stores in China to focus on Shanghai. The retailer currently has 10 stores in China and an online presence through Tmall and Jd.com.

Earlier this week, a senior New Look executive told Retail Week’s International Expansion conference that a bricks-and-mortar presence in China is “very important” to crack the market.

Rowe is also expected to announce M&S is closing its Paris stores as he looks to cut costs amid struggles in its fashion business.

In September, the retailer revealed it is cutting 525 head office jobs.

Yesterday in Parliament MPs launched fresh criticism of M&S’s plan to cut premium payments for staff, but government minister Margot James defended the company.