Big box fashion retail is seemingly back after 5-6 years, with many young shoppers showing preference to offline shopping. Global fashion retail chain Marks & Spencers has opened its newest store at the iconic White Rose Shopping centre, Leeds. Lack of stickiness, a preference to touch, feel and try the products and an in-person interaction seem to be the reasons why offline retailing is gaining strength across the globe.
Stuart Machin, CEO, Marks & Spencer said, “More than 750 customers queued up for the big reveal and it’s possibly our best store yet.”
Located at the White Rose shopping centre, the new store is spread over 97,000 sq ft and 100% electric store. The concept also has a market-style foodhall, including bakery and cheese barge.
The main store has a spacious area for Clothing, Home & Beauty departments and features the company’s biggest ever footwear section.
The M&S café has a 164-seating facility, attracting non-shoppers too, to spend time with themselves, their friends and family.
Marks & Spencer has planned 18 bigger, better stores opening all through this year – from Manchester and Liverpool to Birmingham and Thurrock.
Marks & Spencers employs over 80,000 people serving 32 million customers across the globe. The 134-year old retail chain reported a revenue of GBP 14 Bn for the financial year 2022-23. Profit before taxes grew to GBP 475 mn (from GBP 391 mn during FY 21-22), at the back of a massive recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic hit.
Speaking on the sidelines of the annual report released earlier this month, Stuart Machin, Chief Executive said “One year in, our strategy to reshape M&S for growth has driven sustained trading momentum, with both businesses continuing to grow sales and market share. Our Food and Clothing & Home businesses invested in value to protect customers from the full force of inflation which, whilst impacting margin, was the right thing to do, as serving our customers well is the only route to delivering for our shareholders”.
The new store inaugurals is a part of a GBP 500 mn investment in its store rotation programme, set to create 3,400 jobs across its chain.