M&S to move into new Lakeside flagship, takes ex-Debenhams space
M&S is continuing to open statement new stores as the UK retail giant enjoys a turnaround in its fortunes. It’s set to take over another former Debenhams site, at the Lakeside mall in Essex, with more space for fashion, beauty and activewear.
It had already agreed to move into the empty Debenhams anchor space at the giant Bullring mall in Birmingham. In March, M&S opened a new 50,000 sq ft regional anchor/flagship at the Victoria Place mall in Woking.
The latest expansion will see M&S move from its current Lakeside location in spring 2023 with the move part of a £20 million revamp by mall owner SGS, which took over from the failed Intu in 2020.
The new 98,000 sq ft store will feature a larger clothing and home offer, including a Good Move activewear shop-in-shop, a large beauty department and an in-store opticians. A new foodhall will have direct access to an upgraded car park.
SGS spokesman Steve Gray, Head of European Retail Asset Management at Global Mutual, told local paper The Echo: “We are incredibly excited that M&S has decided to further invest in its offer at Lakeside.
“The retailer is a long-standing tenant and partner, and a brand much loved by our visitors – with a loyal following.
“The new store will significantly increase M&S’ prominence within the centre, as well as accessibility – together acting as key footfall drivers.”
Gray added: “In a fast-changing retail landscape, brands are investing to optimise and drive maximum value from their physical offer. M&S’ move reflects this and is indicative of wider demand for prime space like ours here at Lakeside.
“M&S’s former unit will present another compelling opportunity, surrounded by a host of great brands and in close proximity to the centre’s leisure offer.”
The return-to-form retailer continued its long-awaited recovery with half-year results for the period to October 2 showing total profit before tax and adjusting items rising to £269.4 million from £176.3 million and pre-tax profit rising to £187.3 million from £158.8 million.
Revenue rose 5% to £5.1 billion and net profit was £159.9 million, up 30.6% compared to two years ago.
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