27 May 2024, 12:55
By Furniture News Jan 18, 2024

M&S to invest £30m in Scottish stores

Marks & Spencer has unveiled plans to invest £30m in bricks-and-mortar stores across Scotland.

The retailer’s investment will deliver more than five new store openings and expansions over the next 18 months, supporting over 6500 jobs in communities across the country.

As one of the biggest private sector investments in Aberdeen for years, these plans include £15m for M&S Aberdeen Union Square – next year expanding to almost the double the size with a spacious fresh market-style food hall full of new features including bigger clothing, home and beauty departments.

Alongside a new M&S foodhall coming to Linlithgow later this month, there will be more investment in the North East economy, with a new full-line store in Dundee’s Gallagher Retail Park on track to open this summer. M&S will also open in Largs for the first time, with a new foodhall due to open in early 2025.

Sacha Berendji, M&S' operations director, says: "This is our biggest-ever investment in Scotland, putting £30m into transforming the shopping experience for customers in Aberdeen, Largs, Dundee and Linlithgow - bringing new jobs across the country with bigger, better, fresh market-style foodhalls and new opportunities for Scottish shoppers to access our best-ever, most inspiringly presented clothing, home and beauty range. 

"Our investment in Scotland goes beyond new stores, with M&S sourcing more Scottish produce than ever before, through strong partnerships with local producers. Our commitment to Scotland has never been stronger.”

Spring 2025 will see the £15m expansion in Aberdeen Union Square completed, when the city will boast the fourth-biggest M&S in Scotland. M&S will then close its store on St Nicholas Street. Plans for this longer-term relocation have been shared with staff – with all those on permanent contracts transferring over to M&S Aberdeen Union Square or other nearby stores next year. 

M&S will work closely with the council and partners on the future development of the St Nicholas store.

Rachel Rankine, North East regional manager for M&S, says: “The scale of our investment is a vote of confidence in the future of retail in Aberdeen city centre, with a flagship store on the same scale as city centre stores in Birmingham and Liverpool. Where we have already invested in new formats, our customers have responded to the destination shopping experience and Aberdeen shoppers can look forward to having a bigger, better, fresher food hall and the best in M&S clothing and home.”  

Across the UK, the retailer is aiming to rotate from a base of 247 stores across to 180 higher-quality, higher-productivity full-line stores that sell its Clothing, Home and Food ranges, while also opening over 100 bigger food sites by FY27/28. 

At the start of last year, M&S set out a £500m multi-year investment in its store rotation programme across the UK, and outlined its ambition to go faster in the programme and target delivery in three years instead of five, by FY25/26. This new investment of £30m for Scotland is on top of £32m already invested in 11 Scottish stores over the last four years – including brand-new foodhalls in Paisley, Hamilton and East Kilbride.

Beyond this headline investment, M&S has already launched 11 new and renewed stores over the last four years in Scotland, including new foodhalls in Straiton (Edinburgh), Hamilton, Falkirk Central, Cumbernauld, East Kilbride and Paisley, alongside renewals and expansions in Glasgow Silverburn, Edinburgh Gyle, Anniesland, Glasgow West End and Bishopbriggs, and two recently opened convenience stores in Glasgow Battlefield and Glasgow Queen Street. 

In the last year, M&S continued to see strong performances from these recently opened and relocated stores, with sales ahead of plan, and increased footfall and customers buying bigger baskets of food giving the retailer the confidence to accelerate the programme:

The new stores pipeline means M&S will have more than 15 stores across Scotland in the 'renewal' format. Each store aims to appeal to families, with customers able to browse in wider, brighter aisles, with fresh market-style foodhalls stocking the full M&S Food range and spacious clothing, home and beauty departments. Many renewal stores also have more ample and accessible car parking to make shopping more convenient.

The new stores and renewals are also underpinned by substantial investment in digital services that offer customers an omnichannel service – including the rollout of Digital Click & Collect so customers can collect their parcels in-store in under 60 seconds.

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