Marks and Spencer is planning to close one in four of its biggest stores selling clothes and home goods as its plan to tackle a “difficult economic backdrop” ramps up.

As part of the plans, the store will open 100 new Simply Food outlets across the UK.

As part of the five-year plan the retailer told investors that it aims to have 180 “full-line shops” down from the current 247 by early 2028, targeting “lower productivity” outlets.

In that same time, it plans to open an additional 104 Simply Food outlets as the retailer moves towards groceries over large clothing and homeware stores.

Despite the plan lasting over five-year M&S will try to complete the move as quickly as possible with three years being the idealistic aim.

Last month, M&S announced a pay rise for more than 40,000 of its staff, marking the second salary increase this year as the retailer responds to cost-of-living concerns.

The pay rise will bump up the firm’s minimum hourly wage to £10.20 from October 1, which had already been pushed up to £10 from £9.50 in April, bringing it above the national and real living wage.

The support package will cost the business around £15 million.

It has not yet been announced which stores will close.