This November is set to be M&S’ biggest ever store opening month, with the retailer opening nine new stores over the coming weeks, investing £80m in sustainable bricks and mortar retail.
The roll-out kicked off with a major new 65,000 square foot store in Birmingham’s Bullring yesterday (Tuesday 7 November), with M&S confirming that it will be opening at least one store every seven days throughout the month.
The openings are part of the M&S’ aim to become the UK’s leading omnichannel retailer, with its store rotation programme ensuring that M&S has the right stores in the right place, with the right space. The company is aiming to rotate from a base of 247 stores to 180 higher quality, higher productivity full line stores that sell the company’s Home, Clothing and Food ranges.
“Stores are key to our business, and we see them as part of our competitive advantage,” comments M&S’ operations director Sacha Berendji. “Increasing numbers of customers are heading back to our stores and we expect this to continue as we head into Christmas.”
In the last year M&S has seen strong performances from its recently relocated stores with strong payback on invested capital giving the retailer the confidence to go faster.
The three new full line stores in Birmingham’s Bullring, Lakeside Thurrock and Manchester Trafford Centre are all store relocations, part of M&S’ investment to regenerate vacant sites.
Robyn Duffy, senior analyst at RSM UK, comments on today’s results from M&S:“Today’s robust half year trading results shows that Brits have fallen back in love with M&S. Overall, M&S continues to be the darling of the high street and this looks set to continue into 2024 with anticipated robust year-end results, despite choppy economic waters ahead. Key investments have allowed M&S to meet their customers needs and a clearer ‘less is more’ strategy is paying off.”
Top: As part of this headline investment M&S has already relocated to new stores in Leeds White Rose and Liverpool ONE.