July 16, 2018 / 3:38 PM / 10 months ago

Britain's M&S to cut 351 store jobs

FILE PHOTO: A Marks and Spencer label is seen on an item of men's clothing in London, Britain, May 23, 2018. REUTERS/Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) - British retailer Marks & Spencer (MKS.L) said on Monday it would cut 351 jobs at stores across the country, seeking to make savings in a brutally competitive market.

The job losses, first reported by The Guardian, will be mainly in various store management roles and are unrelated to M&S’ program to close 100 UK stores by 2022 which has already cost some jobs.

“M&S is transforming and this is a tough but necessary decision to take to ensure our stores support the future of the business and provide the best service for our customers,” a spokeswoman for the retailer said.

M&S has reported two straight years of profit decline and analysts forecast a third when it reports 2018-19 results next May.

The retailer said in May that it was modernizing rapidly to survive - a theme Chairman Archie Norman returned to at last week’s annual shareholders’ meeting when he said M&S “has a burning platform.”

Shares in M&S were down 1.2 percent at 1524 GMT.

In 2016 M&S cut a net 525 jobs from its London head office.

Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Susan Fenton

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