M&S has opened a new concept store in the former Debenhams ‘store of the future’ at the Roaring Meg retail park in Stevenage.
The 75,000 sq ft M&S store spans two floors and houses clothing, food, kidswear, a beauty department, an opticians and a 174-seat cafe.
The foodhall follows M&S’s new marketplace-design and includes ‘Fill Your Own’ stations. The retailer said the store would bring a “bigger, better, fresher shopping experience”.
The shop also has plenty of checkouts for speedy service, a mobile Scan & Shop option, which is available via the M&S App, and a click-and-collect service.
Store design expert John Ryan, editor of Newstores, was impressed by the store. He said: “This really does look like a large slice of a possible way forward for the retailer, particularly as regards clothing and home.
“What marks this out both as a store of the future and as different from almost any other branch that might be mentioned is that it feels like one enterprise.”
“If Marks & Spencer can draw lessons quickly from what has been done here and take it elsewhere, its clothing and home will be in with a real fighting chance.”