// M&S is to invest a further £28.5 million into stores in the north in 2023, on top of the £20 million it spent this year
// It will open two new flagships in Leeds and Liverpool
M&S is ploughing £48.5 million into making its stores in the north of England “bigger and better”.
The retailer, which has invested £20 million into its northern store estate this year, will spend a further £28.5 million in 2023.
This will include the opening of two new flagship stores in Liverpool One and Leeds White Rose, where it will take the former Debenhams store.
The investment is part of its national store rotation programme, which aims to “create an M&S store estate fit for the future, with high quality, high productivity space across the UK”.
The programme has created more than 200 jobs in northern towns and cities this year.
This week alone, M&S has opened a new branch in Chesterfield, its first full line store opening since April 2020, alongside a new Food Hall in Macclesfield and an extended Harrogate store.
M&S retail operations director Sacha Berendji said: “Whilst other retailers go online, or sadly disappear, we are committed to having great shops. That means having the right store, in the right place, with the right space to serve our customers the way they want to shop today.
“This week sees our rotation strategy put into action across this region, where we have secured some outstanding sites – including today’s Chesterfield opening and a strong pipeline coming in Leeds and Liverpool next year.
“M&S roots are firmly based in Leeds and this investment cements our future in the region.
“We want our customers across the North of England to experience the best of M&S and these new and upgraded stores will bring together our digital and physical services to deliver a fantastic shopping experience.”
Last month, M&S told investors that it plans to speed up its store overhaul, closing more than 25% of its stores that sell clothing and homewares in three years rather than five, while opening more than 100 new Simply Food branches.
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The retailer plans to close 67 “lower productivity full line stores”, and will move to having 180 “high quality larger stores”, such as the one that opened in Chesterfield today.
It will also grow its “high productivity” Simply Food stores by 104 outlets.
M&S said it has seen “strong performances” from its recently relocated stores, with payback on net capital investment within two years.
Where M&S’ £20m investment in the north has been made in 2022:
- Chesterfield (30th Nov) – new full line store
- Macclesfield (30th Nov) – new Food Hall
- Harrogate Oatlands (29th Nov) – extension
- Leeds Moortown SF (8th Nov) – store renewal
- Gosforth SF (27th Oct) – store renewal
- Silverlink (7th Oct) – store renewal
- Ecclesall Road (7th Oct) – store renewal
- Lincoln (28th April) – store renewal
- Bury the Rock (16th April) – store renewal