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Marks & Spencer reviews future of French business amid post-Brexit border changes

By Huw Hughes

13 Sep 2021

Business

Image: Marks & Spencer

Marks & Spencer is reviewing the future of its French business as post-Brexit border controls continue to disrupt the retail industry.

“In light of the new customs arrangements we are taking decisive steps to reconfigure our European operations and have already made changes to food export into Czech Republic,” a Marks & Spencer spokesperson said.

“We operate a franchise business in France and are currently undertaking a review of the model with our two partners in the market.”

The statement comes in response to media speculation that the British retailer is planning to close stores in France after new border checks left its Paris stores with empty food shelves.

The Mail on Sunday, which first reported the news, said Marks & Spencer could make an announcement about its French stores in the next few weeks.

The news comes after last week Marks & Spencer warned of problems with importing food into the UK once the grace period on imports from Europe ends next month.

The end of the period means imports will face more paperwork from October 1, which the retailer warned could lead to higher prices and less choice for customers.