Marks & Spencer has opened a new store at Lakeside, in Thurrock, Essex. This move is part of M&S’s strategic plan to revitalise its presence in the retail industry amidst a challenging economic environment.

The new Lakeside store, sprawling across 97,000 square feet, was officially inaugurated on Wednesday, 15th November. This store is not just another addition to M&S’s portfolio; it is a significant component of M&S’s ambitious plan to open nine stores throughout November, marking the largest ever monthly expansion in the company’s history​​​​.

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This expansion strategy involves an investment of £80 million, aiming to reinforce bricks and mortar retail and creating over 2,200 local jobs across the UK. Notably, the Lakeside store is part of M&S’s broader initiative to invest around £500 million in its store rotation program, ultimately generating over 3,400 new jobs nationwide​​​​.

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At Lakeside, the new M&S store is a paradigm of modern retail, offering an expansive Clothing department with the latest collections in womenswear, kidswear, and menswear. It also features a refreshed Beauty department and a Foodhall that echoes a fresh-market ambience. The store includes a 140-seat M&S Café, exuding an award-winning design, and is expected to be a significant footfall driver, especially during the festive shopping season​​​​.

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The location of this new store in Lakeside, Essex, is strategic. Lakeside Shopping Centre is a prominent retail and leisure destination spanning 1.6 million square feet and attracting millions of visitors annually. The decision to open the store here aligns with M&S’s vision of positioning its outlets in prime locations to enhance accessibility and visibility​​.


Steve Gray, Head of European Retail Asset Management at Global Mutual, commented: “Lakeside’s new M&S store has been long-awaited by our guests and we are delighted to see the doors open today – just in time for the festive shopping period.

“Significant investment has gone into the new space – reflected in increased prominence in the mall, better accessibility, as well as an enhanced customer experience – all of which will act as footfall drivers.

“M&S is a long-standing partner, having enjoyed many successful years at the centre –  and we’re excited to support them on this next chapter with us.”

Store Manager Dior Hudson, who has worked at M&S for 10 years, said,

“We are thrilled to officially open our brand-new store today in Lakeside. The last few weeks have been so exciting for us all as we’ve seen the store take shape, and I’d like to thank everyone in the team for all their hard work to make sure everything is ready for our loyal customers today.”

 “The store is an exciting investment in the future of M&S in Essex, and I can’t wait for our customers to explore all the new features that the store has to offer. Along with our existing Lakeside team of over 290 colleagues, we’re really pleased to introduce over 90 new recruits to M&S Lakeside who can’t wait to meet everyone. With an amazing fresh market feel Foodhall, stylish new Clothing, Home & Beauty departments  – which is the perfect place to shop your M&S favourites –  and a new 140-seat M&S Café, we really do have the best of M&S here for everyone to enjoy!”

The M&S goal is to transition from 247 to 180 higher quality, more productive stores, a move that is expected to save the retailer more than £300 million in rent.

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