M&S unveils plans to open 36 new stores as part of its five-year store plan.
Reshaping the estate
Marks & Spencer has announced plans to open 36 new stores over the coming six months as part of a broader move to reshape its retail estate and grow its food business. 34 of the new site openings will be dedicated food stores, with the remaining 2 clothing, home and food stores.
The announcement follows M&S's commitment, as communicated in November 2016, to grow its food business by opening 200 new dedicated food stores over the next five years. The business will simultaneously reduce its clothing and home operation by 60 stores. Six stores are set to close in the next six months in Monks Cross, Portsmouth, Slough, Warrington, Wokingham and Worksop.
More staff, serving more customers, from more convenient locations
Opening more food stores in convenient locations represents M&S's strategy to adapt the business to remain relevant. Catering to the shopping missions of top-up shopping and food for tonight is essential, as shoppers no longer do one big shop and browse the store as they used to.
M&S chief executive Steve Rowe commented "Our customers' shopping habits are changing. Picking up food for now or tonight rather than doing one big shop or browsing and shopping online and collecting in store are great examples of this... there will be more M&S colleagues working in an increased number of convenient locations, serving more customers... we will open new stores, some will reduce in size, some will move, some will close and others will convert to food-only."