M&S outlines plans for 20 more new stores

Marks & Spencer is planning to open 20 more UK stores
Marks & Spencer is planning to open 20 more UK stores

RETAILER Marks & Spencer has announced plans to ramp up its store overhaul with plans to open 20 new shops across the UK in a move that will create 3,400 jobs.

The group said that over the next financial year it will open eight full-line stores in shopping centres such as the Bullring in Birmingham and the Trafford Centre in Manchester, as well in as retail parks and high streets across key cities.

It also will open 12 new food halls, including in Stockport, Barnsley and the seaside town of Largs in North Ayrshire, Scotland.

The new openings will bring investment in new stores to £480 million, M&S said.

The new Marks and Spencer store plans come under a wider restructure of its retail footprint, with the group last year revealing it would reduce the number of its full-line stores by 67 to 180 over the following five financial years.

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.

"The out-performance of our recently relocated and renewed stores give us the confidence to go faster in our plan."