M&S is expected to increase its number of full-line store closures from 60 to 100.
Reports in the weekend’s press suggest staff could find out as early as today whether the store they work for will close.
Further closures would follow 20 that have already taken place part as part of a five-year plan announced 18 months ago which aims to reduce the amount of shopfloor space devoted to clothing and make the retailer more efficient and commercial.
M&S said in November the results of its store closures until that point had been positive, and confirmed it would accelerate its store rationalisation programme. However, it now looks set to go even further.
“We have been clear about M&S’s plans to accelerate our store closure programme and the action we must take to build a business with sustainable, profitable growth. But we would never comment on speculation of this kind,” said an M&S spokesman.
The retailer is expected to shed on the matter at its full year results on Wednesday. Analysts are predicting a second-successive fall in pre-tax profits from £614m to £573m. Like-for-like food sales are set to be down 0.2%, with clothing and home like-for-likes down 1.1%.