“The complexities of the supply chain in place following the UK’s exit from the European Union now prevent us from serving fresh and chilled products to customers at the high standards they expect, which has an impact on the performance of our company, ”said International M&S General Manager Paul Friston in a press release.
M&S only reopened its Parisian stores in 2011 after a previous exit from France in 2001.
Nine other franchised M&S stores at French airports and train stations in partnership with Lagardère Travel Retail will continue to operate, as will the company’s website, which primarily sells clothing and home products. M&S said it was in discussions with Lagardère over the future of its food stores.
Brexit has put pressure on supply chains already strained by shortages caused by the pandemic and a resurgence in demand. The UK government said on Tuesday it would delay the introduction of controls on food imports from the European Union for another six months until July 2022 as supermarkets struggle to keep their shelves fully stocked .
UK food producers and transport companies blamed the UK’s exit from the European Union for labor shortages which forced them to cut production and made it difficult to deliver goods on time . According to the Road Haulage Association, the UK is short of around 100,000 truck drivers, including 20,000 EU nationals who left the country after Brexit.
M&S said it had to change the structure of its European activities following Brexit. In April, it stopped selling all fresh and chilled products in the Czech Republic. On the contrary, it doubled the ranges of frozen and non-perishable products.