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M&S to upsize into new anchor unit at White Rose Leeds

Tom Shearsmith
12 August 2021

Marks and Spencer has signed an agreement to relocate into a new anchor store within White Rose Leeds, an out of town retail & leisure destination in Yorkshire.

The bespoke unit will include almost 80,000 sq ft of dedicated trading space and was formerly occupied by Debenhams until its closure in May 2021.

It will feature a 15,000 sq ft M&S Foodhall, as well as womenswear, lingerie, beauty, childrenswear, menswear, and home departments, and for the first time at White Rose, an M&S Café.

All staff will be retained and transferred to the new M&S, with additional recruitment to support the larger store, and the existing store within White Rose will remain open until the new unit is ready.

The relocation has been made possible by Landsec’s proposals to transform the former Debenhams unit. Landsec are investing significant capital into the unit, with planning secured for a comprehensive modernisation of the main front elevation to create a new, full-height glazed frontage, and car park entrance including new electric vehicle charge points and enhanced public realm.

Works are set to commence in October 2021, with a target launch date in 2023.

The move also forms part of M&S’s store estate transformation, a process designed to meet the needs of customers now and in the future, reflecting the changing nature of shopping habits.

Paula Varley, Regional Manager for M&S, said: “We’re really excited to announce our plans to move to a brand-new, larger M&S full line store in White Rose. All colleagues in our existing store will move to work in the new store and we’re also delighted to be creating new roles on top of this. This investment in Leeds and the wider local area is part of the reshaping of our store estate to make sure it’s fit for the future, meeting the needs of customers today – and those of tomorrow.”

Pablo Sueiras, Senior Portfolio Director at Landsec, added: “We are shaping White Rose Leeds in a way that truly meets all the needs of our community, combining fashion, dining, leisure, and convenience. We have seen over the last year just how important the offer of brands like M&S has been, and we are delighted to have secured this upsize with them.

“The relocation and significantly upsized M&S store also demonstrates the strong performance at White Rose, and the centre’s role in providing flagship stores for key brands in the region. This follows upsizes in recent years with Next and River Island, and is further evidence of our commitment to support operators that want to expand their offer at White Rose.”

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