Marks & Spencer plans bumper store-network expansion

Marks & Spencer, M&SUK retail giant, Marks & Spencer, plans to open 36 new stores in the next six months as part of a five-year plan to bolster the retailer’s 959-strong store portfolio.

As part of the plan, the multinational retailer is looking to close six stores at Monks Cross (Simply Food store), Portsmouth, Slough, Warrington, Wokingham and Worksop (Simply Food store).

“M&S stores will always be an integral part of our customer offer, working seamlessly alongside our website, M&S.com, to deliver great products and service to our customers,” said Steve Rowe, chief executive of Marks & Spencer.

“However, our customers’ shopping habits are changing. Picking up food for now or tonight rather than doing one big shop or browsing and shopping online and collecting in store are great examples of this and we are committed to adapting our business so that we stay in tune with our customers.

“This means there will be more M&S colleagues working in an increased number of convenient locations, serving more customers. It also means that we will open new stores, some will reduce in size, some will move, some will close and others will convert to Food-only.”

M&S currently has 959 UK stores – 304 full line stores, 615 Food-only stores and 40 Outlets. The 34 new Food stores and two Clothing, Home and Food stores are planned to open in the next six months. The new stores include new Foodhalls in Bishopsgate (London, near Liverpool Street), Huntingdon, Aylesbury, Spinningfields (central Manchester) and Strood (Kent) and brand new locations for M&S with Clothing, Home and Food stores opening in Bracknell and Rushden in July.

Over 1,400 new customer assistant and management jobs will be created by the new shops.

Two clothing, home and food stores will relocate this Summer in Crewe (from Market Street to the Grand Junction Retail Park) and Greenock (from Oak Mall to the Port Glasgow Retail Park).

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