British retail giant Marks & Spencer (M&S) has firmed up its plans to open 150 M&S Simply Food stores across the UK over the next three years.
The apparel retailer noted that this latest store expansion program is part of its strategy to expand its M&S Simply Food store network.
Of the proposed 150 outlets, around half of the stores are slated to open in convenience locations such as motorway service areas, train stations, hospitals, petrol station forecourts, and airports.
To occupy 2,000ft² of retail space, the outlets will be operated with one of M&S’s existing key franchise partners. The other remaining new stores will be company owned and will be opened in high street and retail park stores spanning over an area of 10,000ft² to 15,000ft².
In addition, the retailer has inked a deal with Relay France to open around ten Marks & Spencer Food stores in and around Paris by 2018, with the first store opening in summer 2014.
M&S noted that this latest plan will more than double the number of ‘Simply Food’ stores M&S currently opens each year, and will create 5,000 new retail jobs.
The stores will offer M&S’s fresh food catalogue and will be located at key railway stations, metro stations and airports.
All UK M&S Simply Food stores offer 6,000 food and drink lines and also has a bakery and M&S Cafe.
The stores to open in next 12 months include: Evesham, Woodley (Reading), Leigh (Greater Manchester), Cramlington (Northumberland), Waterlooville (Hampshire), Berkhamsted (Hertfordshire) and Gosforth (Newcastle-Upon-Tyne).