Marks & Spencer returns to its roots
Marks & Spencer has opened a new heritage and coffee shop at Kirkgate Market, bringing the retailer back to the place where the brand started as a penny bazaar in 1884.
Sitting alongside famous M&S clock in the 1904 building of Kirkgate Market, the stall has been launched as part of the first anniversary celebrations of the M&S Company Archive opening to the public through the Marks in Time exhibition.
The stall promotes the exhibition to the public and includes archive imagery from the retailer's 129 year history, as well as selling coffee and small archive items such as mugs and sweets.
As part of the first anniversary celebrations M&S has unveiled a new Heritage Trail in partnership with Leeds City Council. The self-guided walk starts at the Kirkgate stall and finishes at the M&S Company Archive, taking in places of historic interest for the company around the city.
Alison Houston, Head of the M&S Company Archive, said: "We are very excited about giving customers the chance to experience the origins of Marks & Spencer right inside its original setting at Kirkgate Market.
"M&S has deep historical links to Leeds, so the Heritage Trail is a unique opportunity to learn more about the origins of the company nearly 130 years ago and its connection to various parts of the city centre from 1884 through to the present day."
Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council executive board member for development and the economy said: "It is great to see M&S returning to its roots in Kirkgate Market. The market is an excellent place for new businesses to start up and test their products before taking the big leap onto the high street.
"I am sure that this new stall, along with the heritage trail, will stimulate great interest among visitors to the market and preview the extensive retail history M&S has in Leeds. I look forward to joining customer, tourists and historians taking the heritage trail around the city centre."
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