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JOANNA LUMLEY AND MARC BOLLAND TO OPEN M&S CHESHIRE OAKS
M&S today announces that Plan A Ambassador, Joanna Lumley, and Marks & Spencer Chief Executive, Marc Bolland, will join store manager Hilary Wilkinson to open the brand new M&S store at Cheshire Oaks at 10am on 29 August.
Taking more than 550,000 man-hours to build, the 148,000 sq ft flagship store will employ over 500 people and have the very best that M&S has to offer all under one roof. Customers can look forward to a number of exciting features which will include:
- More ways to shop across the store than ever before, with free customer Wi-Fi, Shop Your Way, 70-inch high-definition television screens showcasing the latest seasonal looks and 12 Browse and Order screens;
- The biggest M&S home department in the UK at 18,000 sq ft and the first to debut the new look, large format offer, giving shoppers a full range of products for the home such as those from the Only at M&S Conran collection;
- A 30,000 sq ft Womenswear department with a full catalogue of women’s fashions, including collections from per una, Autograph and Limited, plus a wide selection of stylish accessories and footwear;
- An brand new beauty offer spread across 2,700 sq ft, featuring exclusive beauty product ranges sourced from Europe and the USA;
- One of the largest Food halls of any M&S store in the world – with over 7,000 lines of quality M&S food;
- First-to-retail sustainability and eco-features throughout the store. For further information on the store’s eco-features, scan the QR code* below or go to http://bit.ly/OEbD8f
Steve Rowe, M&S Director of Retail, commented: “In line with our strategy to develop an exciting, easy to shop retail experience for our customers, our Cheshire Oaks store will encapsulate the latest & very best of M&S design and cutting-edge retail technology.
“Here at our brand new flagship store, our customers will find a fresh approach to shopping and customers service, enhanced by interactive technology that creates a truly unique consumer environment. This store represents the future of retail – a dynamic, interactive space that will redefine what it is like to shop at M&S.”
Opening Day Activities
Hilary and her team of 500 employees will spend the next two weeks adding the final finishing touches to one of M&S’ biggest stores ahead of the grand opening festivities, which will feature the chance for customers to win a share of £1,000 in M&S gift cards during a ‘Find The Green Star’ competition with Radio City.
Store opening celebrations will continue throughout the weekend, with a full slate of activities planned for customers, including chef demonstrations, stylist shows, personal shopping advice as well as kids activities such as face painting and a visit by Percy Pig and Colin the Caterpillar.
Store manager, Hilary Wilkinson, said: “This is an incredible store and nothing less than an equally incredible opening to mark this momentous occasion would do. Thanks to the help of Joanna, we’re adding a bit of stardust to the ribbon cutting which will kick off the fantastic things we have planned.
“It’s been an amazing journey but we’re thrilled that we’re nearly there and will soon show our customers the exciting things the whole team’s been working on over the last three years. I hope that they’ll feel that it was well worth the wait.”
Eco-Features and Shwopping
Cheshire Oaks is the greenest store M&S has ever built. Using the latest in sustainable building technologies and practices, some of which are firsts in retail, the store sets a benchmark in environmental standards, including the use of carbon-absorbing hemp wall panels and ‘strong-as-steel’ FSC-certified engineered softwood timber (Glulam) in the whole of the roof and first floor.
Customers will be encouraged to shwop when they shop by bringing a piece of used or unwanted clothing with them every time they visit Cheshire Oaks.
In partnership with Oxfam, shwopping is M&S’ free clothes recycling initiative which aims to create a ‘buy one, give one’ culture on the UK high street and help reduce the 500,000 tonnes of clothing that go to landfill every year.
M&S Cheshire Oaks will be the biggest M&S store outside of London, second in size only to the retailer’s Marble Arch store on Oxford Street.
More details on M&S Cheshire Oak’s key store features:
- Womenswear: A wide selection of the latest women’s fashions across clothing, accessories and footwear from brands such as per una, Autograph and Limited. Each M&S brand of clothing will be clearly segmented in store, with distinct identities that allow customers to see which brand best meets their personal style preferences.
- Menswear: Cheshire Oaks will be one of only 20 stores to offer the brand new Savile Row Inspired collection alongside brands such as Blue Harbour, Autograph, Collezione and North Coast.
- Kidswear: At 8,200 sq ft, the Kidswear department will be one of the largest in any M&S store, catering for newborns through to teenagers and offering a wide range of Schoolwear ready for the start of the new term.
- Food: The store’s Food hall will showcase the quality and freshness of M&S food. A deli counter with 110 new and exclusive lines including carved meats, pasta sauces, raw and cooked meats, cheeses, salads and fish will be available for customers looking for something special for their meals. The bakery will bake bread fresh on-site everyday using raw ingredients.
- M&S Café: As well as a great place to shop, M&S Cheshire Oaks will have two M&S Cafés providing seating for 430 people. Serving delicious, freshly-made dishes using ingredients from the Food hall, it will be a destination for customers looking to have a break during their shop and enjoy the store’s views. The Cafés will offer Fairtrade tea and coffee, cakes and pastries and an extensive selection of sandwiches and hot food.
Redefining shopping via cutting-edge multi-channel innovations
Cheshire Oaks will be first M&S store to make extensive use of all the latest technology and innovations in multi-channel to create an enhanced, more convenient and inspirational customer shopping experience, including:
- High-definition display screens located throughout the store aim to inspire customers by showcasing the latest looks or offers;
- 12 Browse and Order screens to allow customers to order from the entire M&S catalogue in-store and have it delivered to any M&S store for free, or to a postal address for a delivery charge;
- Customer assistants equipped with iPads who can help customers search for items or help place orders;
- First-to-market technology such as the ‘Virtual Makeover’ counter or ‘Duvet and Pillow Selector’ that will help customers choose a look or item that suits them;
- QR codes located on decor inside and outside of the store, which will help customers connect and discover more about M&S product ranges and the store – from customer product reviews to Food to Order entertaining menus to the various eco-features. This will be supported by free customer Wi-Fi.
New Homeware Department
The new homeware department at Cheshire Oaks will debut for the first time the new look, large format offer, which aims to create an inspirational environment to browse and shop for products for the home.
Using cutting-edge technology alongside new display and signage concepts, customers will be able to seamlessly browse the latest M&S ranges to create a living room, kitchen or bathroom that suits them, including:
- 70” display screens that will showcase key design themes from our main collections – Clerkenwell, Caravan, Kensington, Conran and Marcel Wanders;
- iPads and 32” interactive browsing screens that will let customers easily peruse the entire catalogue;
- Enhanced product presentation that will use signage, product samples and display to educate customers how to choose the best product for them as well as tell a product’s story and provenance, helping to inform customers and letting them choose items and furnishings that fit their personal style;
- In a first to market, the new duvet and pillow selector that will help customers achieve a ‘perfect night’s sleep’ by tailoring recommendations based on answers to on-screen questions.
Once inspired and informed, customers can then order products via 32” interactive Browse and Order Hubs or with iPad-equipped customer assistants.
Cheshire Oaks will showcase M&S’ new beauty offer. Customers will be able to shop an extensive range of M&S’ own-brand products, including its new natural and eco-friendly bodycare range called Pure. The store will also be one of the first to carry an edit of some of the world’s leading and exclusive beauty brands such as Nuxe (France), Murad (USA) and Monotheme (Italy), all of which have been handpicked by M&S experts.
The new beauty offer will be enhanced by the use of ground-breaking new technology to help inspire and inform customers on a beauty look that best suits them. The ‘Virtual Makeover’ counter uses exclusive software to let customers experience different make up looks and skin consultations ‘virtually’, either from a photo or a model.
For further information, please contact:
Christopher Kang Marks & Spencer 0208 718 1967 / 07500 074 862
Elizabeth Murphy Beattie Communications 0161 212 1755 / 07821 781 733
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 09:00am – 10:00pm , Saturday 09:00am – 10pm, Sunday 11:00am – 5:00pm
Store opening hours are subject to change at peak trading periods, please see website for details (www.marksandspencer.com).