M&S to launch new larger store in north Essex

Churchmanor Estates' Stane Retail Park in Colchester

The new Marks and Spencer store at Stane Retail Park in Colchester - Credit: Churchmanor Estates

Marks and Spencer is set to launch a new, larger store in Colchester and close its current one in the town's high street.

The new outlet at Stane Retail Park in Stanway will offer a bigger range of M&S products with new Foodhall and Clothing & Home departments as well as an M&S Café.

M&S previously announced it was planning to open an M&S Foodhall at the park but the retail chain is now looking to extend into a next door unit to create a much larger 62,000sq ft trading space.

The £70m Stane Retail Park is set to be fully completed in April 2022. M&S begins work on its new store after that. It is scheduled to open later this autumn.

M&S regional boss Andrew Icke said: “We’re excited to announce our plans to invest in the local area and open a brand new, larger M&S store at Stane Retail Park, which will offer customers in Colchester a much bigger range of M&S products across our Foodhall and Clothing & Home departments, and a new M&S Café.”

The existing M&S Colchester store in the high street will close later this year - but will stay open as normal until the new store is ready, said the retailer.

All staff working there will be able to transfer to the new Stane Retail Park store or other M&S outlets. M&S also plans to create new jobs for local workers when the new shop opens.

Mr Icke said: “Shopping habits are changing, so we’re rotating our store estate to make sure we have the right stores to offer our customers a brilliant shopping experience.

"We appreciate the current store closure may be disappointing news for some, but we believe this is the right decision to invest in a new store for the local area so we can deliver the very best of M&S for customers in Colchester.”

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Matt Cloke, development director at  park developer Churchmanor Estates, said: “Stane Retail Park is the only major retail park in the country to be built and funded through the Covid pandemic period and we are pleased that the risk we took to build the scheme speculatively has been endorsed by M&S with their decision to invest in a new, larger M&S store for Colchester on our site.”

Churchmanor has spent £2.6m on improvements to the Eight Ash Green A12 roundabout , creating a new four-way traffic signal junction. It also widened the Western Bypass to two lanes between Essex Yeomanry Way and the Sainsbury’s roundabout as part of improvement works around the site.

The developer's head of communications Emma Proctor King said: “We are pleased that Marks and Spencer have decided to take more space at Stane Retail Park. We feel confident that this will enhance the continued success of the retail park and provide an improved shopping experience for the residents of Stanway.”