M&S plans major investment in new stores across the UK

M&S plans to open new stores around the UK, which will generate thousands of jobs.

A £480 million investment in Marks & Spencer’s stores will enable the company to open 20 additional locations and generate thousands of new jobs. This year, M&S will open new locations at former Debenhams locations in Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, and Thurrock.

According to M&S, more than 3,400 new jobs will be created over a three-year period.

Debenhams permanently closed its doors in May 2021 after COVID-19 lockdowns proved to be the company’s breaking point.

However, M&S has recently revealed development plans that could bring back several closed Debenhams stores.

Full M&S stores will be built on vacant lots in the White Rose shopping centre in Leeds, the ONE shopping centre in Liverpool, the Bullring in Birmingham, the Trafford Centre in Manchester, and the Lakeside shopping centre in West Thurrock.

The brand new stores in Leeds and Liverpool will debut in the summer, with the opening of the Birmingham location following in the autumn. The Manchester and Thurrock stores, according to M&S, will debut near the end of 2023.

This year will also see the opening of a total of 12 new Marks & Spencer dining halls. In Stockport, Barnsley in South Yorkshire, and Largs in North Ayrshire, restaurants are planned.

Building on the availability of its convenience food in Costa Coffee shops and service stations, the department store claimed it is also expanding its food selection through franchise partnerships.

M&S claimed that “recently moved and renewed stores” had performed better than anticipated, giving the business the assurance to “proceed faster” with its change-related objectives.

Each of the larger new stores, according to the article, had been “built with local families in mind” and included broader aisles and roomier clothes and home departments to facilitate easier browsing by customers.

The total number of M&S bricks and mortar stores will decrease from 247 to 180 while new, larger stores are being established. These 180 locations will carry our complete assortment of clothes, home goods, and food while also opening over 100 larger, better food sites.

Additionally, the stores will have new M&S cafes, sustainable programmes like Fill Your Own, as well as free parking.

Stores, along with online trading, are a “vital aspect,” according to chief executive Stuart Machin, of the group’s future.

He explained: “Our store rotation programme is about making sure we have the right stores, in the right place, with the right space. We’re aiming to rotate from the 247 stores we currently have to 180 higher-quality, higher-productivity full-line stores that sell our full clothing, home, and food offering while also opening over 100 bigger, better food sites.”

The impressive numbers demonstrated rising sales at M&S outlets throughout the last three months of the previous year.

The 13 weeks leading up to the end of December saw a 6.3% increase in like-for-like food sales. Sales of the company’s clothes and home goods increased by 8.6%, giving them their largest market share in seven years.

M&S recently announced a significant decline in profits and issued a “gathering storm” warning due to growing prices and tightened consumer budgets.

Despite an 8.5% growth in revenue across the board, profit before tax and adjusting items for the six months to 1 October was £205.5m, 24% lower than it had been in the same period a year earlier.

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