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Marks & Spencer closures in France: Which stores are affected and when?

Marks & Spencer announced last month it would close 11 of its 20 stores in France due to Brexit-related food shortages. Some have already shut up shop, while others will close before the end of the year. Here's what we know.

The M&S in the So Ouest shopping center is one of 11 French locations set to close.
The M&S in the So Ouest shopping center is one of 11 French locations set to close.

Customers visiting Marks & Spencer for a taste of the UK have been met with empty shelves and a very limited range of products since the end of the Brexit transition period on January 1st. The application of the EU’s strict rules on food imports from third countries have made it particularly difficult to ship animal products.

Any product such as meat, dairy or eggs that derives from animals needs a veterinary certificate stating that it conforms to EU regulations, in addition to the extra customs documentation that all imports into the EU now require. That has meant an end to many customer favourites, including certain sandwiches, ready meals and sausages.

For the British chain, the situation has become untenable, and on September 16th it announced that over half of its stores, which are all situated in Paris and its suburbs except for one branch in Lille, would close in the coming months.

“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,” Paul Friston, M&S international director, said

However, the company added that stores situated in train stations and airports, which are run with its partner Lagardere Travel Retail, would remain open.

Here is the full list of M&S locations in France, and what the future holds for them.

Stores which have already closed

Four M&S shops closed their doors on September 30th, and have already disappeared from the Marks & Spencer website. These are:

  • M&S Food Franklin Roosevelt (Paris, 75008)
  • M&S Food Grand Rex (75002)
  • M&S Food Palais des Congrès (75017)
  • M&S Food Ledru Rollin (75011)

Other stores set to close

The other shops which are not located in transport hubs, and are run with French partner SFH, are due to close some time before the end of the year. Employees in certain of these locations have already been informed of when their stores will close, while others are awaiting confirmation. The full list:

  • M&S Food Saint Lazare (Paris, 75008) – set to close at the end of October
  • M&S Food Saint Germain (Paris, 75006) – set to close in December
  • M&S Food Saint Michel (Paris, 75005) – date unknown
  • M&S Food Avenue du Général Leclerc (Paris, 75014) ) – date unknown
  • M&S Food Grévin (Paris, 75009) – Reportedly open until early November
  • M&S Food Passy (Paris, 75016) – date unknown
  • M&S Food So Ouest (Levallois-Perret, Hauts-de-Seine) – date unknown

Shops which will remain open

The nine stores located in travel hubs will remain open for the foreseeable future. These are:

  • M&S Food Gare de Lille (Lille)
  • M&S Food Châtelet Les Halles (Paris, 75001)
  • M&S Food Gare de l’Est (Paris, 75010)
  • M&S Food Gare Montparnasse (Paris, 75014)
  • M&S Food Gare RER La Défense (Puteaux, Hauts-de-Seine)
  • M&S Food Roissy Pôle T3
  • M&S Food Roissy Charles de Gaulle T1
  • M&S Food Roissy Charles de Gaulle T2E
  • M&S Food Roissy Charles de Gaulle T2F

However, even those stores which will remain open such as the one in Gare de l’Est have had to contend with empty shelves, and many of the fresh products such as milk and sandwiches have been replaced with French produce.

Since 2017, Marks & Spencer has operated only Food Hall stores in France, with its sandwiches and ready meals proving particularly popular with French customers as well as Brits looking for a taste of home.

On September 16th, the company said it would close 11 of its stores “in the coming months”, and has since declined to provide any further information concerning dates.

Member comments

  1. Up till the 1990’s you could buy a selection of M&S food products at Auchan, Carrefour etc etc , these were the days when tariffs were applied, but I remember buying sausages, bacon even ‘English’ bread , then when mad cow disease came along this all stopped, but maybe the French stores could start importing some selected products again.

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STRIKES

LATEST: How Paris transport will be hit by Tuesday’s pension strikes

Tuesday, February 7th marks a third day of mass strike action in protest at planned pension reforms in France. Here's how the strike will impact services in the French capital Paris.

LATEST: How Paris transport will be hit by Tuesday's pension strikes

Rail workers, public transport employees and teachers are along the people who will walk out on Tuesday in the latest one-day strike as unions battle the government over plans to reform the pension system, including raising the retirement age from 62 to 64.

Another day of mobilisation is also planned for Saturday, February 11th, however according to reporting by AFP, it will not involve any strike action from French national rail services, meaning trains run by SNCF are expected to operate normally on Saturday.

Here’s how this will affect Paris – you can find full details of the nationwide service impacts HERE.

READ ALSO: 6 ways to get around Paris without public transport

Metro

Services will be severely disrupted on the Paris metro system, and RATP has recommended that those who can telecommute to work do so.

As in previous strikes, metro lines 1 and 14 will run normally, though you can expect large crowds, particularly during rush hour. The metro line 3bis will run normally as well. Keep in mind that line 14 will close at 10pm, as it usually does on Tuesday’s due to ongoing works to upgrade the line.

On other Paris metro lines, half of trains will run on line 4, but others will run on reduced schedules, with some only operating during the morning and evening rush hours. Lines 8 and 13 will see portions of the line closed, as well.

Line 2 – 1 train out of 3 will run from 6:30am until 8pm

Line 3 – 1 train out of 3 during rush hour (6:30am to 9:30am and between 4:30pm and 7:30pm)

LISTEN to The Local’s latest podcast on how strikes in France are set to intensify

Line 4 – Half of the trains on this line will run throughout the day

Line 5 – 1 train out of 3 will run starting at 5:30am until 8pm

Line 6 – 1 train out of 6 will run between 5:30am and 8pm

Line 7 – 1 train out of 3 will run between 6am and 10pm

Line 7bis – Half of the trains on this line will run from 6am to 10pm 

Line 8 – 1 train out of 3 will run during morning and evening rush hour – from 6:30 am until 9:30 am and again between 4:30 pm and 7:30 pm

Line 9 – 2 trains out of 3 will run in the morning, and then half of trains will run in the afternoon. Services will begin at 5:30am and end at 8:30 pm on this line.

Line 10 – 1 train out of 3 will run during the morning rush hour from 6:30 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. Then, half of trains will run in the evening rush hour from 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. 

Line 11 – Half of services will run from 6am to 11am, and then 1 in 4 trains will run from 4:30pm to 7:30pm.

Line 12 – 1 train out of 3 will run from 5:30 am until 8:30pm

Line 13 – 1 train out of 3 will run during rush hours (between 6:30 am and 9:30 am; and between 4:30 pm and 7:30 pm)

Station closures 

Closed all day – Hôtel de Ville, Simplon, Strasbourg – Saint Denis, Réaumur – Sébastopol, Cité, Saint-Placide, Alésia, Barbara, Hoche, Laumière, République, Richard-Lenoir, Campo-Formio, La Motte Piquet – Grenelle, Cadet, Opéra, Tolbiac, Grands Boulevards, Jourdain, Goncourt, Rambuteau, Balard, Invalides, Varenne, Liège, Guy Môquet, Garibaldi, and Brochant.

Partially closed – Champs Elysées – Clémenceau (Open between 6:30 and 9:30 am, and 4:30 and 7:30pm); Reuilly – Diderot (Open between 6:30 and 9:30 am, and 4:30 and 7:30pm); Villiers station (Open between 6:30 and 11am and between 4:30pm and 7:30pm); Jussieu (Open from 6:30 to 9:30 am and between 4:30 and 7:30 pm); Michel-Ange (Open between 6:30 and 9:30 am and between 4:30 and 7:30 pm); Auteuil (Open between 6:30 and 9:30 am and between 4:30 and 7:30 pm); Molitor (Open between 6:30 and 9:30 am and between 4:30 and 7:30 pm); Sèvres – Babylone (Open between 6:30 and 9:30 am and between 4:30 and 7:30 pm); Arts et Métiers (Open from 6:00 to 11:00 am and between 4:30 and 7:30 pm).

For more specific information about station closures, click here.

Bus

On average, 8 buses out of 10 will run.

Tram 

Traffic will run normally on the tramline. 

RER Services

RER A – half of trains will run throughout the day.

RER B – half of trains will run throughout the day. Keep in mind that connections may be disrupted at Gare du Nord.

RER C – one in three trains will run

RER D – one train in six will run

RER E – two trains out of five will run

Transilien lines H, J, K, L and N will run one train out of three. Line P will run one train out of five, with normal services between Esbly and Crécy. On line R, no trains will run between Melun and Montereau on the Héricy route.

Regional TER trains will run three out of 10 trains on average on Tuesday, and services will be heavily disrupted across all French regions, including those connecting with the capital.

Eurostar 

The Eurostar has cancelled seven trains running on Tuesday and one running on Wednesday morning. You can see which journeys will be impacted here.

On average, the Eurostar service will run three trains out of four.

Trains

National and international rail services in and out of the capital will be severely disrupted, as the four main unions (CGT Cheminots, Sud Rail, CFDT Cheminots, and UNSA Ferroviaire) representing workers with France’s national rail service, SNCF, have all called for strike action on Tuesday, February 7th.

Representatives from SNCF said that they expect that French national rail services will be “heavily disrupted” on Tuesday due to strike action. Only half of France’s high-speed TGV trains will run normally on Tuesday February 7th, representing less disruption than the day of action on January 31st where only one in three TGV lines ran according to normal operating times.

The level of disruption will depend on geographical location. Two out of five TGV trains are expected to run in the north; half will run in the east, one in three will run in the west, and two in five will run in the south east. 

As for low-cost Ouigo trains, two out of five trains will run across the country on Tuesday.

Intercity and regional TER trains operated by the SNCF will also see services disrupted on Tuesday.

As for daytime intercity trains – SNCF will run two return trips on the Paris-Limoges-Toulouse, Bordeaux-Marseille and Nantes-Lyon lines. It will run one return trip on the Paris-Clermont line. No trains will run on the Nantes-Bordeaux and Aubrac (Clermont-Béziers) lines.

Travellers can expect normal services on the Paris-Nice nighttime intercity line. However, no trains will run on the Paris-Briançon, Pyrenean (Paris-Lourdes/La Tour-de-Carol) and Occitan (Paris-Toulouse) nighttime lines.

Transilien services will run an average of two trains out of three.

You can check to see if your journey will be affected by strike action by going to the SNCF website here – updated information will be available at 5pm on Monday, February 6th.

French national rail services told BFMTV that they recommend that travellers either cancel or postpone their trips for Tuesday. 

International rail services will also be impacted by Tuesday’s strike action. Lyria (which connects France to Switzerland) will see about half of services run as scheduled, and Thalys services will be “slightly disrupted”. 

Flights 

There will be some cancellations of flights, but only those travelling via the Paris Orly airport. Ahead of Tuesday’s strike action, France’s Civil Aviation Authority asked the Paris-Orly airport to cancel one out of five flights.

As a result, disruption at the Paris-Orly airport will likely be similar to that of January 31st, when approximately 20 percent of flights operating out of Paris-Orly airport were cancelled, but other airports were mostly spared. 

Schools

Many schools in the capital will be fully or partly closed for the day – the last one-day strike saw at least a quarter of teachers walk out.

Primary school teachers (maternelle and elementary schools) are required to inform students and families at least 48 hours in advance of their intent to strike.

One of the major unions representing teachers, SNUipp-FSU said they expect at least 60 schools in the Paris region to close on Tuesday due to walkouts, and they said that they expect about half of teachers to strike on February 7th.

Demos 

Demonstrations are expected in cities and towns across the country.

The demonstration in Paris will begin at Place de la Bastille at 2pm and it will walk toward Place de l’Opéra. Roads will be closed along the route.

January 31st, the most recent day of large scale mobilisation, saw over 1.27 million people take to the streets according to the interior ministry. In Paris, the number of protesters was estimated at 87,000, higher than the 80,000 clocked last time, the ministry told AFP.

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