Marks & Spencer is to accelerate its store closure programme, it is understood.

M&S is to increase the number of shops it intends to shut from 60 to 100, The Sunday Times reported.

The closures are expected to be confirmed this week, when Marks & Spencer issues results. Profits are expected to have fallen.

Marks & Spencer chief executive Steve Rowe decided to close some stores last year as part of his turnaround efforts and a shift to a ‘digital first’ approach.

A Marks & Spencer spokesperson said: “We have been clear about our plans to accelerate our store closure programme and the action we must take to build a business with sustainable, profitable growth.”

M&S is expected to report a second year of profit decline this week. The City anticipates earnings to come in at about £573m, compared to £614m in 2017.

Clothing and home like-for-like sales are thought likely to be down 1.1%, and revenues down 0.2%.

M&S’s place in the FTSE 100 could be under threat. The retailer has been on the index since it started in 1984, but could be destined for the FTSE 250 when the index is recalculated.

Last week, Ocado overtook M&S by market capitalisation.

Separately, M&S has appointed former Dixons Carphone UK boss Katie Bickerstaffe and former EY executive Pip McCrostie to its board as non-executive directors.

Chairman Archie Norman said: “As we embark on the first phase of our transformation programme we are building a cohesive and engaged board with deep and relevant skills in retail and business change.”