Another Marks and Spencers closes this time in Holloway Road people are being advised the nearest stores are in Archway and  Angel.

The Holloway store opened in 1931.

Profits are down sharply at Marks & Spencer again. What are the main problems facing the UK’s biggest clothing retailer?

Wired world: M&S faces greater competition as the internet has made it easier than ever to shop around, compare prices and access fashion from around the world. About a quarter of fashion and footwear is now bought online in the UK, says retail expert GlobalData, and the switch from the high street is benefiting the likes of Asos as well as dozens of smaller brands from Boden to Me+Em. M&S has struggled to adapt. It made a massive investment in an automated home delivery warehouse which has struggled to cope with demand.

 Too many shops: M&S is closing a third of its 300 high street stores which sell its full range of clothing, homewares and food. The radical plan will cut the amount of high street floor space devoted to clothing and homewares by a quarter.

Poor stores: After nearly 115 years on the high street, M&S has collected a motley array of stores, some of which have seen better days. A lack of investment in small, local outlets has left them looking shabby and dated, while some of the larger stores are now too big and difficult to navigate. A lot of work has been done to improve matters, bringing in coffee shops and other services, but more work is needed to create truly exciting spaces.Which Marks & Spencer stores are set close?

Fashion faux pas: A third of the nation still buys its undies at M&S, but the chain has struggled to maintain its everywoman appeal for everyday clothing amid heavy competition. Middle-aged, and even elderly, women now expect to dress much more fashionably than they did in the past and M&S has struggled to keep pace with their desires. Cutting quality in an attempt to bring prices closer to discounters such as Primark has backfired in the past.

The group’s multiple sub-brands, such as Per Una and Limited Edition, also lack authority and consistency and shoppers don’t understand who they are aimed at.

This is not just M&S food … It’s too expensive and rivals have caught up. After several years of bumper growth, M&S food halls are lagging as rivals from Aldi and Lidl to upmarket Waitrose raise their game with the kinds of new products M&S was once famous for.

M&S has long been criticised for being too bureaucratic. Chief executive Steve Rowe admitted it is “a top-heavy business that was inward looking and too ‘corporate’”. After previous false dawns newish chairman Archie Norman is expected to be instrumental in bringing change.

Peak stuff? M&S is exposed to a shift in spending that is seeing Britons spend less on wardrobe updates. The volume of clothing and footwear sold in 2017 declined 0.8%, according to GlobalData, and is expected to fall again this year. At the same time, M&S’s traditionally middle-aged female shoppers have more choice that ever before thanks to fast fashion rivals such as Zara, H&M and Primark.

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