Marks & Spencer has been forced to close 11 high street stores in France as supply chain complexities under new trading rules have made it “near impossible” to provide fresh and chilled produce to their customers.
Marks & Spencer who operated the 11 stores with franchise partner SFH will be closed by the end of the year.
However, nine other stores will remain open at airports railway and metro stations.
The retail giant have experiences a series of problems over new rules created after Brexit on exports of goods from the UK to the EU over the “pointless and byzantine” way in which the rules are being enforced.
Marks & Spencer said in a statement, “The lengthy and complex export processes now in place following the UK’s exit from the European Union are significantly constraining the supply of fresh and chilled product from the UK into Europe.”
The retailer added, this is “continuing to impact product availability for customers and the performance of our business in France.
“As a result, we have reviewed how we trade with our EU businesses and partners, and today we have announced that our partnership with SFH will end resulting in the closure of all 11 of their franchised stores.”
Paul Friston, managing director of the group’s international division, said, “M&S has a long history of serving customers in France and this is not a decision we or our partner SFH have taken lightly.
“However, as things stand today, the supply chain complexities in place following the UK’s exit from the European Union, now make it near impossible for us to serve fresh and chilled products to customers to the high standards they expect, resulting in an ongoing impact to the performance of our business.
“With no workable alternative for the high street stores, we have agreed with SFH to close all 11 franchised stores.”