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Marks & Spencer’s new shops plan to create 3,400 jobs as part of £480m investment

M&S is opening new shops designed ‘with families in mind’ across the UK as part of a huge investment which could transform abandoned High Street stores… View Article

DEPARTMENT STORES

Marks & Spencer’s new shops plan to create 3,400 jobs as part of £480m investment

M&S is opening new shops designed ‘with families in mind’ across the UK as part of a huge investment which could transform abandoned High Street stores and inside popular shopping centres.

The British clothing and food retailer plans to open 20 new, bigger stores in its 2023-24 year as part of a radical overhaul of its store estate that will see it invest £480 million pounds.

The 139-year old group said on Monday the investment would generate more than 3,400 new jobs across the United Kingdom.

M&S’s move shows the continuing importance of physical stores to retailers despite the rise of online shopping over the last two decades.

“Stores are a core part of M&S’s omni-channel future and serve as a competitive advantage for how customers want to shop today,” said Chief Executive Stuart Machin.

Last October, M&S set out plans to accelerate what it calls its store rotation programme, delivering what was an initial five-year plan within three years by 2025-26. The plan involves reducing the number of full-line M&S stores by 67, leaving 180 higher quality, higher productivity stores that sell the group’s full clothing, home and food offering, while increasing its food only stores by 104 to 420.

“Our store rotation programme is about making sure we have the right stores, in the right place, with the right space,” said Machin.

The store rotation programme is underpinned by a substantial investment in new digital services to offer an omnichannel service to customers. This includes the roll-out of Digital Click & Collect to130 stores across the UK, enabling customers to collect their parcel in under 60 seconds, 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.

He noted that customers who shop with M&S on multiple channels are eight times more valuable.

M&S, which last week reported better-than-expected Christmas trading, said its new store pipeline for 2023-24 includes eight full-line stores, including in Leeds, Liverpool, Birmingham and Manchester. Twelve new M&S food halls are also planned.

In addition to its owned store investment, M&S plans to extend its franchise model to expand its convenience stores offer, building on partnerships with BP, Moto, SSP and Costa.

M&S is part funding its programme by releasing development value in some of its older UK sites, including at its flagship site in Marble Arch.

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