M&S has invested £480m in creating “bigger, better” stores across the UK as a core part of its bid to become the UK’s “leading omnichannel retailer”.
The investment of almost half a billion pounds will generate over 3,400 new jobs across the country and develop the future M&S store estate, offering customers a “seamless experience” every time they shop.
As part of its store regeneration programme, the retailer plans to have 180 higher quality branches that sell clothing, home and food products, as well as 420 dedicated food stores across the UK, within the next three years.
M&S CEO Stuart Machin said the new stores are a “core part of M&S’s omnichannel future” and serve as a “competitive advantage” for how customers want to shop today.
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The store rotation programme – which was revealed at M&S’ recent investor day, – will see the retailer fast track its five-year plan and opening 20 new bigger, better stores within the next financial year.
M&S is accelerating its store programme in the light of strong performances and boosted sales figures at its recently opened or upgraded stores. The bricks and mortar move is being underpinned by a “substantial investment in new digital services” which will offer a full omnichannel service to customers.
This includes expanding the roll-out of Digital Click & Collect to 130 stores across the UK, which will allow customers to come into store and collect their parcel in under 60 seconds. It will also allow shoppers using Scan & Shop – around 33,000 of them each week – to do so directly via the M&S app on their phone, completing their in-store purchases entirely online.
In its recent Christmas trading update, M&S announced that sales through its app grew by 33% over the festive period, with a third of all online sales made during the period taking place through the app.
M&S says consumers who buy via multiple sales channels are eight times more valuable to them.
“The out-performance of our recently relocated and renewed stores, give us the confidence to go faster in our plan,” said Machin.
“Our investment in stores not only delivers a better experience for customers and colleagues, it boosts local communities with new job creation and will help us deliver a more sustainable estate in every sense.”
M&S will also be introducing ultra-fast Electric Vehicle charging points at around 70 M&S stores, in partnership with BP Pulse.