M&S stocks up on new shops news

<p>Shares in Marks & Spencer are up this morning.</p>

The share price of Marks & Spencer (M&S) has risen this morning (April 3rd) after the company announced it is due to open hundreds of new stores in the next three years.

It was revealed by the firm that it will open 250 new shops in markets such as France, India, Russia, China and the Middle East, with 20 food outlets planned for the French capital Paris.

However, the latest financial update from the company also stated that like-for-like sales at the unit fell by more than two per cent in the three months to the end of December, which was the tenth quarter in a row that quarterly sales have been down for the company. New sales figures are due to be revealed by the firm next week.

Chief executive of M&S Marc Bolland stated that a "bricks and clicks" approach is now being taken by the company, with flagship stores to be backed by an online offering.

He said: "Our strategy of becoming an international, multi-channel retailer is more relevant than ever before because of the strong growth potential of international markets."

M&S food

Steve Rowe, M&S executive director of food, added that M&S food brands are in strong demand all over the world, which is why it is rolling out new stores. He said: "From toasted crumpets in The Hague to red wine in China, our international customers are very quick to tell us what their favourite M&S products are. This is why expanding our fresh food offer presents us with a strong growth opportunity."

Mr Rowe noted the goal is for M&S food to be added to the global map over the course of the next few years, with western Europe an area being particularly targeted by the firm. Paris is set to become the company's largest food market outside of the UK as a result of the 20 new stores being opened by the firm in the French capital.

Shares in the company rose following the news. By 09:01 BST, stocks were 0.26 per cent up.

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