M&S Said to Return to the Netherlands With First Store Next Week

Marks & Spencer Group Plc (MKS), the U.K. clothing retailer that exited the Netherlands more than a decade ago, will return there next week to open the first in a series of stores, according to a person familiar with the plan.

Marks & Spencer, the U.K.’s biggest clothing retailer, will open its first location on Amsterdam’s busy shopping street Kalverstraat on April 17, said the person, who declined to be identified because the decision isn’t yet public. The store will contain a smaller-format food hall and fashion e-boutique, which offers online orders, said the person.

The chain, led by Dutch chief executive officer Marc Bolland, will follow a plan similar to its strategy in France which it re-entered in 2011, the person said. There, the London- based company’s inaugural store opened on the Champs Elysees and will be followed by a series of franchise-based Simply Food convenience halls, two or three large-format stores and a country-specific website. The company exited the Netherlands and European markets, including France and Spain in 2001, as then- CEO Luc Vandevelde cut costs.

A spokeswoman said the retailer doesn’t comment on speculation.

Marks & Spencer reported international sales climbed 7 percent in the fourth quarter following an improved performance in Europe and strength in Asia and the Middle East.

The retailer posted the fastest quarterly sales growth in almost two years as it offered discounts on apparel and shoppers treated themselves to specialty food at Easter.

Marks & Spencer declined 0.2 percent to 399.6 pence in London trading today. The shares have risen 4.5 percent this year.

To contact the reporters on this story: Sarah Shannon in London at sshannon4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Celeste Perri at

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