Marks & Spencer pulls out of China, the world's largest retail market

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Barely a year after British retailer Marks & Spencer opened its 10th store in the country, it is pulling out of China in March.
The fashion retailer has already shut down seven of its 10 stores in the Chinese mainland. The exit from the Chinese market, which M&S entered in 2008 with a store in Shanghai, was announced last November, around the same time as other international M&S stores were being shuttered.
Marks & Spencer Managing Director for China, Adam Colton said that one of the main reasons the company was pulling out of China was low brand awareness.
Last June, the company signaled in to investors in its annual report that its international business was experiencing “a challenging year” and like-for-like sales in it’s owned businesses rose a mere 1 per cent.

M&S new chief executive Steve Rowe, who took over from Marc Bolland last year, has changed the group’s strategy to shift away from owning stores, which are expensive to run, in favour of growing the network of franchise shops.

Rowe is under pressure to turn M&S around after inheriting a business that has struggled to shift women’s fashion. He has already scrapped 500 jobs.

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