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M&S to Open 150 Simply Food Stores

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M&S to Open 150 Simply Food Stores

M&S to Open 150 Simply Food Stores
October 24
12:35 2013

Marks & Spencer has announced further details of its specialist food retailer strategy with the news of a significant expansion of its M&S Simply Food store network in the UK and a new franchise partnership with RelayFrance. M&S will open an additional 150 UK Simply Food stores over the next three years to further enhance its specialist food positioning and reduce drive times to access M&S Food – building on from the plan announced in November 2010.

Around half of the new stores will be about 2,000 sq ft and operated with one of M&S’s existing key franchise partners in convenience locations such as motorway service areas, train stations, hospitals, petrol station forecourts and airports. M&S has Simply Food partnerships with BP, SSP and Moto operating 249 stores across the UK.

The other new stores will be M&S-owned, high street and retail park stores trading across 10 – 15,000 sq ft.

The UK plans will more than double the number of Simply Food stores M&S currently opens each year and will create over 5,000 new retail jobs.

M&S’s new French partnership will see the retailer and Relay France open around ten Marks & Spencer Food stores in and around Paris by 2018, with the first store opening in summer 2014. The stores will offer M&S’s fresh food catalogue and will be located at key railway stations, metro stations and airports.

There is the potential for further expansion into additional travel locations in the future. This autumn, M&S and BP opened four Food store pilots in the Netherlands.

Marc Bolland, chief executive of M&S, says: “Our Food business has gone from strength to strength under our plans to transform M&S. We’ve delivered 15 quarters of like-for-like growth in the UK and have opened Food stores in cities like Amsterdam and Paris. We’re delighted to be partnering with RelayFrance to drive our international ambition even further.”

Steve Rowe, executive director of Food, comments: “Over the last three years we have reinforced M&S’s everyday specialist food market position through exceptional quality food, groundbreaking innovative products, and unrivalled ethics. We’ve brought this to life for our customers through inspirational Food Halls with specialist bakeries, delis and now florists. This offers us exciting opportunities to grow our business.”

A typical UK M&S Simply Food store stocks 6,000 food and drink lines and has a bakery and M&S Cafe. New stores opening in the next 12 months include: Evesham, Woodley (Reading), Leigh (Greater Manchester), Cramlington (Northumberland), Waterlooville (Hampshire), Berkhamsted (Hertfordshire) and Gosforth (Newcastle-Upon-Tyne).

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