M&S sells US chain

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The Independent Online

Marks & Spencer has sold its US-based Brooks Brothers clothing chain for $225 million (£159.5 million).

The chain, which has 155 stores in the United States and a host of outlets in Japan, is being bought by privately-owned US firm Retail Brand Alliance.

M&S international director David Norgrove said the group was pleased to have agreed the disposal, given the difficult conditions in the United States since the 11 September attacks.

"Brooks Brothers has a wonderful American heritage and a committed workforce but it was not a good fit with M&S's core business or strategic priorities," he said Friday.

The sale is a further step in M&S's restructuring program, designed to focus the group on reviving its stores in the United Kingdom.

M&S is also pulling out of mainland Europe and hopes to sell off its remaining US business Kings Super Markets by March next year, it said.