IT’S time – after months of anticipation, Marks & Spencer has officially opened its amazing new store in the Lakeside shopping centre, Thurrock. The M&S Lakeside team gathered at the store entrance at 10am with Store Manager, Dior Hudson, who was joined by guests of honour Percy Pig and Colin the Caterpillar, to cut the ribbon and declare the store officially open.
Located in Lakeside shopping center, the show-stopping new 97,000 sq ft store offers local shoppers a fresh market-style Foodhall, stylish and spacious new Clothing, Home & Beauty departments, and a new 140-seat M&S Café.
As well as creating over 90 new jobs, the new-look M&S Lakeside store is one of nine new stores set to open throughout November – the biggest ever month for new M&S store openings. It also represents a significant investment in the area’s economy and comes following the retailer’s recent announcement that the nine November openings total an £80 million investment in bricks and mortar retail and will support over 2,200 local jobs across the UK.
Inside the spacious new Clothing, Home & Beauty department, shoppers can find plenty of style inspiration with the latest collections across womenswear, kidswear and menswear – with dedicated, neon-lit areas to spotlight M&S customer favourites including Per Una, Autograph and Goodmove, as well as the new AW23 Jaeger collection, following the brand’s expansion into more M&S stores earlier this month.
And shopping with M&S will be easier than ever with our team of colleagues on hand to offer support and styling advice, and new features like the option to skip the queues altogether and pay straight away in our store fitting rooms.
Other highlights include a bigger-than-ever M&S Footwear offer with a spacious try-on area, making it easy to find the right fit and style, and a transformed M&S Beauty department showcasing customer favourites, including the ever-popular Apothecary collection and the new M&S Fresh Elements skincare range.
Inside the brand-new M&S Foodhall, customers will find a new fresh-market feel, with displays brimming with great quality, trusted value produce from M&S Select Farms, and a show-stopping bakery offering fresh daily-baked bread and pastries, including M&S Collection Sourdough – made through a traditional 30-hour process – and the exclusive M&S Yumnuts™. Other Foodhall highlights include a sensational selection of cheeses and a dedicated M&S Wine Shop.
And with a huge new range of M&S Remarksable products – including Super Soft sliced bread, RSCPA Assured fresh milk, and beef mince from trusted M&S Select Farmers – the new store will deliver trusted value for local customers.
Lakeside Thurrock is also one of the first stores in the UK to launch the brand new ‘Hot Chicken’ offer. Open daily from 10am, ‘Hot Chicken’ is an exciting new ‘mix & match’ option that offers customers freshly cooked hot chicken, sides, and sauces in thousands of possible combinations.
With all chicken sourced from M&S’ trusted British Select Farms and cooked at the counter that day in brand-new rotisserie ovens, there are small, medium and large combos to choose from, starting from just £8 – choose from Chicken Tenders, Chicken Wings, a Half Chicken, or a Whole Chicken, add a choice from the sides menu such as Caesar Salad or Mac & Cheese, and finish it off with a sauce – the Secret One, Spicy One, Creamy One, BBQ One, or even Chicken Gravy.
And the new store is also home to a new-look M&S Café, offering customers table service in a super stylish space to eat, drink and relax for a great pre or post-shop pit stop. The new Café offers a transformed menu, as well as M&S Café favourites, including Magic Coffee®, the hottest new style of coffee to reach the UK since the Flat White and exclusive to M&S Cafés.
Opening in time for Christmas, customers will be able to tuck into M&S’s BEST-EVER Christmas menu and pick from a selection of merry mains, seasonal snacks and drinks. Some of the hot picks include the new Turkey & Ham Hock Toastie with gravy dipper, Turkey Pot Pie, and Giant Festive Cheesy Rarebit Crumpet. Colin The Caterpillar Hot Chocolates are also a must try – an indulgent hot chocolate, topped with whipped chocolate cream, Colin sprinkles and a Christmas Colin face.
The team have been counting down the days to opening, and this morning hundreds of people started queuing up ahead of opening to get the first look inside the store. And to surprise those dedicated customers, Percy Pig and Colin the Caterpillar were on-hand to welcome shoppers to the new store as the team handed out 200 golden tickets to the first customers through the door. Every golden ticket holder was guaranteed a win – whether it’s a free bag of Percy Pigs or freshly baked cookies from the new M&S bakery, and to mark the occasion one lucky customer won a £200 M&S voucher!
Soaking up the opening day celebrations, Store Manager Dior Hudson, who has worked at M&S for 10 years, said: “We are thrilled to officially open our brand-new store today in Lakeside shopping centre. The last few weeks have been so exciting for us all as we’ve seen the store take shape, and I’d like to thank everyone in the team for all their hard work to make sure everything is ready for our customers today.”
“The store is an exciting investment in the future of M&S in Thurrock, and I can’t wait for our customers to explore all the new features that the store has to offer. Along with our existing Lakeside team of over 290 colleagues, we’re really pleased to introduce over 90 new recruits to M&S Lakeside who can’t wait to meet everyone. With an amazing new, fresh market feel Foodhall and a Clothing, Home & Beauty department which is the perfect place to shop your M&S favourites, we really do have the best of M&S here for everyone to enjoy!”
With a generous, shopping centre car park, the new M&S Lakeside store is ideal for bigger basket family shopping. The store is located at W Thurrock Way, Grays RM20 2ZQ. Opening times are 8am-9pm Monday to Saturday and 11am-5pm on Sunday.