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.
— Chris O'Brien (@obrien) March 10, 2022
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