M&S eyes return to Europe

Marks & Spencer is understood to be planning a return to Europe 10 years after exiting the continent.

M and S

Marc Bolland, M&S CEO, is expected to announce the plans next week as part of his six-month review of the business alongside its interim results statement.

The retailer is thought to be in talks with European retail chains El Corte Ingles and Galaries Lafayette to buy back a number of stores it sold off when it pulled out of Europe a decade ago.

Bolland is understood to want to rebuild the chain’s European business quickly to kick-start its international growth.

He is also reported to have hired headhunters to find top level executives to lead M&S’s international, online and homeware divisions, which indicates the areas on which his business review will focus.

M&S operates 320 stores outside of the UK, the majority run as franchises.

M&S pulled out of continental Europe in 2001 closing 38 stores. The decision was met with outcry from European consumers and the flagship Paris store had its own book of condolence when it closed.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here