British retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) has announced a £480m ($585m) investment to expand its store portfolio in the UK.
The retailer will open 20 stores, including eight full-line destination stores and 12 new food halls, in the 2023-24 financial year.
This year, M&S will open a 97,000ft² store in Leeds White Rose and a 70,000ft² outlet in Liverpool ONE.
The retailer will also open stores in Birmingham, Manchester and Essex later this year.
As part of M&S’ investment to regenerate sites that are currently vacant, all five new stores will be relocated to former Debenhams sites.
Each store will feature fresh market-style food halls, clothing, home and beauty departments and M&S cafes, as well as sustainable features such as Fill Your Own.
They will also provide free car parking to improve customer convenience.
In addition, M&S will open food halls across the UK, including stores in Stockport Barnsley and Largs.
The investment is expected to create more than 3,400 jobs in total.
M&S chief executive Stuart Machin said: “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.
“Our store rotation programme is about making sure we have the right stores, in the right place, with the right space and we’re aiming to rotate from the 247 stores we have today to 180 higher quality, higher productivity full line stores that sell our full Clothing, Home and Food offer whilst also opening over 100 bigger, better food sites.
“Our investment in stores not only delivers a better experience for customers and colleagues, it boosts local communities with new job creation and will help us deliver a more sustainable estate in every sense.”
M&S recently reported a 9.9% growth in total group sales to £3.6bn for the third quarter of 2022-23.