M&S will open 20 new stores in order to be the UK’s largest omnichannel retailer

Marks and Spencer Group PLC, LSE:MKS), has stated that it plans to invest half a billion pounds in 20 “bigger and better stores”, which will result in some 3,400 new jobs.

M&S announced that a mix of full-line and foodhall stores would open in the latter part of this year. This includes in Stockport and Barnsley as well as in Liverpool, Birmingham, and Leeds.

The FTSE 250-listed retailer stated that the PS480mln investment was “core” to its goal of becoming the UK’s largest omnichannel retailer.

M&S stated that the new store rotation will allow for the expansion of Click & Collect services in 130 stores to collect parcels, and the Scan & Shop services which are used by 33,000 customers every week through the M&S App.

The app helped to increase revenue by 33% during Christmas, and active users grew to 5mln.

Stuart Machin, chief executive of M&S, stated that stores are an integral part of M&S’s future omnichannel strategy and provide customers with a competitive advantage in how they shop today.

He said, “Our store rotation program is about making certain we have the correct stores, at the right place, and with the right space. We’re aiming from the 247 stores currently in operation to 180 full-line, higher quality, more productive full-line shops that sell our complete Clothing, Home, and Food offering while also opening over 100 larger, better food sites.”

It stated that recently relocated stores had performed well, giving the retailer confidence to speed up the program. The clothing and home sales at Llandudno’s recently relocated store were up by 35% and 75% respectively, when the store moved to a retail area.

The company stated that much of the accelerated store program, which aims to have 180 full-line and 42 food stores by 2026, will be funded through “releasing value from older locations”.

M&S plans to expand its franchise model by forming partnerships with companies like BP or Costa.