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17.46 23 May 2018


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Retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) has announced it is cutting prices across its Irish stores.

It is dropping prices on some 200 food lines by an average of 24%.

The price cuts will be part of a major new advert campaign.

Ken Scully, M&S Ireland country manager, said: "This is our biggest ever price investment in the Republic of Ireland.

"We're doing it to sharpen our prices for customers who we know come to us for our trusted value and great quality products."

Consumers will be looking to see if other Irish retailers follow suit.

It comes as the company said it needs to modernise urgently to survive, after suffering a second straight fall in annual profits.

They dropped 62% to stg£67m (€76.4m) - while trading profits were 5.4% lower.

File photo

M&S said that reflected weaker food margins and like-for-like sales falling 0.9% in its core UK market.

The fourth quarter performance showed a deterioration, largely blamed on "unseasonable weather", despite an earlier Easter.

However the share price of the retailer rose following the announcement of a major store closure programme.

It plans to close 100 stores in the UK by 2022.

This includes 21 that have already closed and 14 that were announced on Tuesday as proposed for closure or set to close.

Alongside re-locations, conversions, downsizes and the introduction of concessions, M&S said these closures "will radically reshape" its clothing and home operations.

The acceleration of the programme is part of a wider five-year transformation plan.

Under the plan, the firm wants to create fewer clothing and home stores.

M&S will mark 40 years' trading in Ireland next year - its first store opened on Dublin's Mary Street in 1979.

Additional reporting: IRN


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