M&S has announced a £480 million investment in larger, better stores across the UK, with a pipeline of 20 new stores set to open in the coming fiscal year.
The investment by the department store retailer will create over 3,400 new jobs across the country and will aim to create a fit for the future M&S store estate as well as a seamless experience for its customers.
M&S recently shared its intention to accelerate a five-year store rotation programme and deliver within three years by 25/26 at its investor day.
The 2023-2024 store pipeline includes 8 full-line destination stores in key city locations, including a new 97k sq. ft store in Leeds White Rose and a 70k sq. ft store in Liverpool ONE, both of which are scheduled to open in 2023.
Other major stores will open later in the year, including a 65k sq ft store in Birmingham Bullring in August 2023, a 96k sq ft store in Manchester’s Trafford Centre, and a 98k sq ft store in Lakeside Thurrock, both in Winter 2023.
All five new stores will be relocated to former Debenhams locations as part of M&S’ investment in revitalising currently vacant sites.
Each has been designed with local families in mind, with wider aisles and a clear line of sight allowing shoppers to browse.
With market-style food halls stocked with the entire M&S Food range, Clothing, Home and Beauty departments, brand-new M&S cafes, sustainable innovations like Fill Your Own, and free parking.
M&S intends to invest in 12 new food halls in localities all throughout the UK in addition to full-line stores.
These include a 16k square foot store opening in Stockport in the summer of 2023, a 12k square foot store opening in Barnsley, South Yorkshire in the fall of 2023, and a 9,000 square foot store opening in the winter of 2023 in Largs, a beach town in North Ayrshire, some 33 miles from Glasgow.
M&S intends to grow its successful franchise model in addition to its investment in owned stores to increase the convenience it offers.
This will increase the number of customers who may enjoy the M&S Food selection and strengthen the already-existing franchise agreements with BP, Moto, SSP, and Costa.
Chief executive Stuart Machin said: “Stores are a core part of M&S’s omnichannel future and serve as a competitive advantage for how customers want to shop today.
“Our store rotation programme is about making sure we have the right stores, in the right place, with the right space and we’re aiming to rotate from the 247 stores we have today to 180 higher quality, higher productivity full-line stores that sell our full Clothing, Home and Food offer whilst also opening over 100 bigger, better food sites.
“The outperformance of our recently relocated and renewed stores gives us the confidence to go faster in our plan.
“Our investment in stores not only delivers a better experience for customers and colleagues, it boosts local communities with new job creation and will help us deliver a more sustainable estate in every sense.”
The statement comes after Marks & Spencer reported record food sales and its biggest clothes and home market share in seven years over the holiday season.
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According to its trading update, sales through the M&S app increased by 33 percent, and the number of active app users increased to five million from four million.
A significant investment in new digital offerings to provide clients with an omnichannel solution supports the new store rotation programme.
This includes the introduction of Scan & Purchase, which allows customers to use their phones to scan and bag food items as they shop, directly from the M&S app, and the roll-out of Digital Click & Receive to 130 locations throughout the UK, enabling consumers to collect their delivery in under 60 seconds.
Source: Retail Gazette