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Report: Marks & Spencer to close 17 more stores

Marks and Spencer Group PLC plans to close 17 more stores in the "coming months" as British upmarket retailers continue to struggle amid fewer customers and the rise of online shopping, The Guardian (London) reported Jan. 15.

"Proposing to close stores is never easy, for our colleagues, customers or the local community, but it is vital for the future of M&S," said Sacha Berendji, M&S retail, operations and property director Sacha Berendji, according to the report.

The new wave of store closures is putting over 1,000 jobs at risk, the report said. This is the latest in a series of M&S planned store closures that have caused hundreds of jobs to be lost.

The closures are part of the U.K. retailer's ongoing five-year transformation plan to cut floor space and make at least a third of its sales online.

M&S has begun a consultation with the employees of the 17 newly identified stores, the report said, citing a statement from the company.