If Brexit was the first blow, this is being seen as the second: Brits in the Netherlands are distraught at news that retailer Marks & Spencer is to shut 53 overseas stores, including two in the Netherlands.
The shops in The Hague and Amsterdam, opened under the optimistic leadership of Dutch former chief executive Marc Bolland, have been earmarked for closure by the British business, whose offering ranges from knickers to kippers.
Nu.nl reports that the two Dutch stores, employing 160 people, are earmarked for closure, alongside others in loss-making markets including Belgium, France, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Estonia, Lithuania and China.
New chief executive Steve Rowe told Reuters that it would close 30 clothing-based stores in the UK and convert another 45 into food stores in a plan to reverse falling sales and profits. The British business is retreating overseas and concentrating on a franchise-based model instead.
But when news of the so-called ‘M&Sxit’ hit social media today, it provoked concern among British expats, in particular, lovers of crumpets and strong tea. It is unclear whether the closing-down sales will come in time for Christmas.
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