Employees at French outlets of Marks and Spencer demonstrated clearly yesterday that the UK retailer's plans to close 18 M&S stores will not be going ahead as smoothly as it had hoped. The beleaguered high street retailer had bowed to pressure from the French courts and agreed to attend a meeting with workers' representatives over its plans to close all its French operations and slash around 1,700 jobs. On arrival however, officials from the company found themselves alone because the workers failed to show up.