Marks & Spencer close more Paris stores

The British grocer Marks & Spencer has already closed dozens of its French stores since Brexit, but now some of the remaining food outlets also appear to be shutting down or converting into French supermarkets.

Marks & Spencer close more Paris stores

Before Brexit, Marks & Spencer had 20 Food Hall stores in France – 19 in the Paris areas and 1 in Lille – which were popular with foreign residents seeking out British delicacies such as strong tea, curries, bacon and crumpets.

But the post-Brexit rules on imports of foodstuffs including meat and dairy products hit the company hard, since all products in the French stores are imported from the UK. After months of empty shelves in stores, in October 2021 M&S announced the closure of 11 of its French stores.

The remaining ones were based in transport hubs and the company said they would stay open.

However, in recent days residents of Paris – where eight of the nine remaining stores are located – have reported that they are closing, or being taken over by French supermarket chains.

The store in Les Halles is reportedly being converted into a Monoprix, while the La Défense store has a sign up saying it is temporarily closed. Staff at the Gare de l’Est store told customers that they would be closing at the end of March.

The Local has repeatedly asked Marks & Spencer what is happening with their French stores, but they have so far declined to comment.

After the reorganisation in 2021, the following stores remained open;

  • 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

Member comments

  1. Went into Gare de l’Est today. Assistant confirmed shop was closing at the end of March – but for ‘travaux’ & will reopen. However, she thought it might be as a Monoprix selling a small range of M&S products.
    Sounds like the M&S franchisee has done a deal with Monoprix.

  2. E Rothsky Le Bon Marché (pricey). Carrefour sells a few items like Walker’s shortbread & Heinz baked beans &, of course Twinings tea (also expensive). The South Asian grocers around Louis Blanc sell PG Tips, Birds custard powder, Patak’s curry pastes and Indian pickles, and British biscuits like custard creams. Their prices are more akin to what you’d pay in the UK.

  3. Galeries Gourmande at Le Palais de Congres has a good selection; English teas, biscuits, jams and jellies, HP sauce etc Worth a visit

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Traffic warnings for France ahead of holiday weekend

This weekend represents the first chance to 'faire le pont' and have a long holiday weekend - and the French seem set to make the most of it with warnings of extremely heavy traffic from Wednesday.

Traffic warnings for France ahead of holiday weekend

Thursday, May 26th marks the Christian festival of Ascension and is a public holiday in France.

More importantly, it’s the first time this year that French workers have had the opportunity to faire le pont (do the bridge) and create a long weekend.

In France, most public holidays fall on different days each year and if they happen to fall on the weekend then there are no extra days off work.

This year that happened on New Year’s Day (a Saturday) and both of the early May public holidays (the workers’ holiday on May 1st and VE Day on May 8th, which both fell on a Sunday).

READ ALSO Why 2022 is a bad year for public holidays

But as Ascension is on a Thursday, workers have the option to take a day of annual leave on Friday and therefore create a nice four-day weekend.

And it appears that many are planning on doing just that, as the traffic forecaster Bison futé is predicting extremely heavy traffic from Wednesday evening, as people prepare to make their after-work getaway and head to the coast, the countryside or the mountains to fully profit from their holiday weekend.

According to Bison futé maps, the whole country is coloured red – very heavy traffic – on both Wednesday and Thursday as people take to the roads to leave the cities.

Map: Bison futé

Meanwhile Sunday is coloured black – the highest level, meaning extremely heavy traffic and difficult driving conditions – across the whole country. 

Map: Bison futé

If you were hoping to take the train instead you might be out of luck, SNCF reports that most TGV services are sold out for over the holiday weekend.