This November, Marks & Spencer (M&S) is embarking on its biggest store opening month, investing £80m in sustainable physical retail locations and creating over 2,200 local jobs across the UK.
The retail giant will launch nine new stores throughout the month, marking a significant milestone in its pursuit of becoming the UK’s leading omnichannel retailer.
M&S is set to kick off its ambitious store expansion plan with the unveiling of a 65,000 square foot store in Birmingham’s Bullring on November 7th. Following this, the company will open at least one store every seven days during the month.
This includes two more new store openings, three M&S Foodhalls, and three store renewals, demonstrating a strong commitment to enhancing its retail presence.
Store rotation programme at the core of M&S’ expansion
M&S’ strategic vision revolves around its store rotation programme, which aims to ensure that the company has the right stores in the right locations with the right space.
The company plans to transition from its current base of 247 stores to 180 higher-quality, more productive full-line stores that offer Clothing, Home, and Food ranges.
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In addition to this, M&S intends to open over 100 larger and more advanced food sites by the financial year 2027/28.
Accelerated investment in store rotation
At the beginning of the year, M&S committed approximately £500m to its store rotation programme and set a goal to expedite the programme, targeting delivery in three years instead of five by the financial year 2025/26.
This acceleration is driven by M&S’s strong performances from recently relocated stores, which have provided favourable returns on invested capital, giving the company the confidence to move forward.
This substantial investment is not only geared towards expansion but also places a strong focus on environmental benefits. For instance, M&S has already relocated to new stores in Leeds White Rose and Liverpool ONE, both of which exceeded expectations and deliver significant environmental advantages.
The new Liverpool ONE store, in particular, boasts modern features such as LED lighting and a natural refrigeration system that is 55% more efficient than the old store, resulting in a 69% reduction in carbon emissions.
Supporting local communities and families
M&S’ new stores aim to appeal to local families, offering wider, brighter aisles and clear sightlines across the store.
These locations include fresh market-style food halls that stock the complete M&S Food range, spacious departments for Clothing, Home, and Beauty, and free parking for customer convenience.
The Lakeside and Trafford Centre stores will also feature brand-new M&S cafes, enhancing the shopping experience for local customers.
In addition to these store openings, M&S recently announced plans to hire over 10,000 new Customer Assistants to support its stores during the festive season, a 40% increase from the previous year.