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M&S to future-proof its retail with 480 million pound investment and 20 'better' stores

By Don-Alvin Adegeest


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Image: Marks & Spencer, Facebook

Marks & Spencer is investing in its retail network, injecting 480 million pounds in what it said are bigger and better stores across the UK.

In the next financial year the retailer expects to open 20 new stores, with 8 full-line destinations in city centres such as Leeds and Liverpool.

The company said it would create 3,400 jobs as it moves to future-proof its physical retail.

M&S chief executive Stuart Machin said in a statement: “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, give 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 news follows healthy Christmas trading for M&S, posting dividends not just in food, but also its highest clothing and home market share for seven years.

In November, M&S moved from an aging town centre site in Chesterfield to a new 46,000 sq ft store in Ravenside Retail Park, creating 100 new jobs for the community. Overall sales were up 103 percent in December vs last year, the company said in a statement.

New stores support the omni-channel shopping experience customers want

The store rotation programme is underpinned by a substantial investment in new digital services to offer an omnichannel service to customers. M&S said it would roll-out of Digital Click & Collect to130 stores across the UK and Scan & Shop which is used by around 33,000 customers each week and lets customers use their phone to scan and bag food items as they shop, directly from the M&S app.

In M&S’ Christmas trading update, it was announced that there was a 33 percent uplift in sales through the M&S app, and active app users grew to five million, up from four million.

Marks & Spencer