Marks and Spencer is reportedly trying to source more product locally for its Irish stores as a result of difficulties with post-Brexit export controls on food.
The retailer said it is “gradually increasing” the range of products it can supply to Irish stores as it sources more products locally due to the “complex checks” brought about by the UK’s exit from the European Union, reports The Irish Times.
According to the newspaper, post-Brexit rules, and what the company has called "excessive paperwork," forced M&S to cut in the region of 20% its total range of products sold in its stores in the Republic, which equates to almost 800 goods here.
It is understood that the number has fluctuated throughout, depending on a number of factors, including seasonal lines.
The company said that the “long and complex export processes” following Britain’s departure from the European Union have made it difficult to supply the stores from the UK.
It is believed that the post-Brexit issues M&S has run into involve the strict regulations controlling the export of food from Britain, where much of the chain’s chilled products are made and supplied into its EU stores.
French Store Closures
The retailer said it would close all 11 French franchise food stores it runs with its partner SFH because trade rules in place since Britain left the European Union had hammered product availability.
M&S said on Thursday that its remaining nine French franchise stores, run with Lagardere Travel Retail, will continue to trade and the pair were working on a sustainable future business model.
Chairman Archie Norman had complained for months that M&S was struggling to get goods into Ireland and France since Britain left the EU single market at the beginning of the year, due to the huge amount of extra paperwork.
"M&S has a long history of serving customers in France and this is not a decision we or our partner SFH have taken lightly," said M&S international director, Paul Friston.
"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."