MARKS and Spencer plans to close 100 stores, including at least two Scots shops by 2022, in a retreat from the High Street that will see nearly 1000 jobs put at risk.

Of the 100 stores, 21 have already been shut, including one in Greenock and M&S has now revealed the location of 14 further sites to close.

The forthcoming closures which M&S says is "vital" for the struggling retailer's future include stores in East Kilbride and Falkirk.

But Usdaw, the shopworkers’ union, accused M&S of “salami slicing”, as staff came to terms with a third wave of store closures and the GMB union said it was "the latest bad news in a shocking year for Britain's High Street".

Under its plan, M&S wants to move a third of its sales online and plans to have fewer, larger clothing and homeware stores in better locations.

The closures will affect its clothing and home stores, which have under-performed for several years.

It is all part of a plan announced 18 months ago by the chief executive, Steve Rowe, to slash the amount of shopfloor space devoted to M&S’s clothing ranges as the company's financial performance deteriorates.

On Wednesday, M&S is expected to report pre-tax profits of £573m, down from £614m in 2017, marking the second consecutive year of declining profits. Sales of clothing and home products at established stores are forecast to be down 1.1%, and food sales down 0.2%.

The retailer has already shut 22 clothing stores, affecting about 900 jobs, as part of a “radical transformation” plan intended to tackle years of falling sales and profits.

"Closing stores isn't easy but it is vital for the future of M&S," said Sacha Berendji, its retail operations director.

He said that where stores have already closed, "encouraging" numbers of consumers were now shopping at nearby stores.

The GMB union said it was "a sad reflection on the flat-lining economy and continued slump in consumer purchasing due to long-term squeeze on incomes."

Gary Carter, GMB national officer, said: “Staff across the retail sector will be shocked that a big name such as M&S is planning to close 100 stores.

“It’s the latest bad news in a shocking year for Britain’s high street and comes on the back of the collapse of Toys ‘R’ Us and the consolidation in the food sector with the proposed merger of ASDA and Sainsbury’s.

The loss of M&S stores will hit local economies and communities hard. Britain needs a pay rise to get consumer shopping going and employers need to invest in stores and the customer experience with well trained and fairly paid employees.

David Gill, national officer for shopworkers' union Usdaw, said: "This salami-slicing approach to reorganising the business is extremely distressing for the staff.

East Kilbride, Falkirk, Darlington, Kettering, Newmarket, New Mersey Speke, Northampton, Stockton and Walsall will enter a period of consultation with 626 affected employees. M&S said it would aim to redeploy staff before considering redundancies.

In September, M&S closed its Greenock store which had been in place for more than 80 years, to move to new premises at Port Glasgow retail park.

Shona Lawrie, head of region for Scotland North and East for Marks and Spencer, said: “Proposing to close the Falkirk store has been a difficult decision and over the coming weeks we will be consulting with our colleagues.

“We will continue to serve the community at our surrounding local stores, including Falkirk Simply Food at the Falkirk Retail Park.”

Falkirk Council leader Cecil Meiklejohn said: “The commercial decision to close the M&S store in Falkirk’s High Street is very disappointing and naturally we are concerned for the future of their store workers.

“We are keen to work with the company to see if we can offer any support in finding alternative employment. We would also want to discuss the longer term future of the site as it played such an important role in Falkirk’s High Street.”

Maureen Hinton, group retail research director at analysts GlobalData said: "Marks & Spencer has dominated the UK clothing market for decades, but its lead as number one is perilously close to being lost to Primark this year.

"The closure of yet more stores will hasten the decline unless it can shift the lost sales to its online channel and transfer to its other stores. But it also has to start growing total non-food sales to stem the overall decline.

"M&S has been losing share for more than two decades. In 1997 it achieved its peak clothing market share of 13.5 percent in the UK. Its position seemed unassailable, but since then its market share has been on a declining trend."