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Marks & Spencer flagship Champs-Elysées store finally set to close

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Marks & Spencer flagship Champs-Elysées store finally set to close
Marks & Spencer, Champs-Elysées. Photo: AFP
09:56 CET+01:00
Upmarket British chain Marks & Spencer will close the doors of its Champs-Elysées store for the final time on Tuesday.
The closure is set to take place on October 31st, just six years after the company returned to France's most famous avenue. 
 
And as a result, 517 members of staff are set to lose their jobs. 
 
As compensation, the company will continue to pay their normal salary for one year and give up to €12,000 towards further training, reported Le Monde
 
According to union Seci-Unsa, this "could cost the British company to €20 million".  
 
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Photo: AFP
 
This closure is the final non-food store to close in France following Beaugrenelle (Paris 15th arrondissement), So Ouest in the French capital's northwestern suburbs, Aéroville in the northeastern suburbs and Quartz to the north of the capital, which all closed in September.
 
Even though M&S Food Hausmann (La 'Chaussée D'Antin') and M&S Food Saint Lazare (La Pepiniere) were among those set for closure, they are currently still open. 
 
It's not bad news for everyone however with Marks & Spencer planning to keep its 17 food shops and online presence in France. 
 
Among the stores not affected by the company's French closures are M&S Food Charles De Gaulle Airport T2E, M&S Food Chatelet Les Halles RER Station, M&S Food Gare de l'Est and M&S Food La Défense, M&S Food Passy (Duban), M&S Food Avenue du Général Leclerc, M&S Food Ledru Rollin, M&S Food Palais des Congrès, M&S Food Grand Rex (Poissonnière), M&S Food Saint Michel, and M&S Food Marche Saint Germain.
 
 
Since the return of Marks & Spencer to the French market in 2011, the individual stores are in deficit, the store said in a statement last year. 
 
In  2015/16 the losses amounted to 19 million pounds (€26 million).
 
However in its statement Marks & Spencer suggested that France could actually see more designated food stores opening up.
 
"We will also continue to develop our franchised Food business in France where there is demand for our quality, innovative products at convenient locations," it said.
 
At that time, Marks & Spencer sold its property leases to French department store Galeries Lafayette however this time around the company failed to find a buyer. 
 
Parisians have long had a love affair with the brand and there was an outcry when it pulled out of France in 2001.
 
The company returned to France in 2011, ten years after closing 18 stores and firing 1,700 members of staff. 
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