M&S Invests £30 Million in Scottish Expansion
M&S has announced an ambitious investment plan totalling £30 million. This investment is set to facilitate the opening and expansion of more than five stores across Scotland, including key locations such as Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Largs, and Linlithgow, over the next eighteen months. This initiative is not just a retail expansion but also a substantial boost to the Scottish job market, supporting over 6,500 jobs.
Central to this investment is the significant development in Aberdeen. M&S is dedicating £15 million to nearly double the size of its Aberdeen Union Square store. This project, slated as one of the most notable private sector investments in the city in recent years, is expected to transform the store into a modern flagship location. Customers can anticipate an expansive fresh market-style food hall, replete with unique features such as a flower shop, a cheese barge, an enlarged in-store bakery, and a dedicated wine shop. The expansion will also include more extensive departments for clothing, home, and beauty products, aiming to enhance the shopping experience.
M&S’s commitment to Scotland extends beyond retail expansion. The company maintains a strong focus on local sourcing, with around 2,500 Scottish farms in its supply chain. Collaborations with companies like Kettle Produce, McSween, and Scottish Sea Farms highlight M&S’s dedication to supporting local producers. The retailer ensures that many of these Scottish-sourced products are available not only in its 94 Scottish stores but also across its wider UK network and beyond.
Sacha Berendji, M&S Operations Director, emphasised the scale and significance of this investment: “This is our biggest ever investment in Scotland, putting £30m into transforming the shopping experience for customers in Aberdeen, Largs, Dundee and Linlithgow – bringing new jobs across the country with bigger, better, fresh-market style foodhalls and new opportunities for Scottish shoppers to access our best-ever, most inspiringly presented clothing, home and beauty range. Our investment in Scotland goes beyond new stores with M&S sourcing more Scottish produce than ever before, through strong partnerships with local producers.”
Spring 2025 will mark the completion of the Aberdeen Union Square expansion, making it the fourth-largest M&S in Scotland. Concurrently, M&S plans to close its St Nicholas Street store, with permanent staff transitioning to the expanded Union Square location or other nearby stores next year. M&S has also committed to working closely with the council and partners on the future development of the St Nicholas store.
Rachel Rankine, North East Regional Manager for M&S, highlighted the investment’s significance for Aberdeen: “The scale of our investment is a vote of confidence in the future of retail in Aberdeen city centre, with a flagship store on the same scale as city centre stores in Birmingham and Liverpool. Where we have already invested in new formats, our customers have responded to the destination shopping experience and Aberdeen shoppers can look forward to having a bigger, better, fresher food hall and the best in M&S clothing and home.”
The investment in Scotland is part of M&S’s broader strategy to become the UK’s leading omnichannel retailer. This includes a store rotation program aimed at optimising the retailer’s presence with higher quality, higher productivity full-line stores that offer clothing, home, and food ranges, alongside over 100 enhanced food sites by FY27/28. This new Scottish investment follows M&S’s previous £32 million investment in eleven Scottish stores over the last four years, demonstrating the retailer’s ongoing commitment to the region.
M&S has already seen positive results from its recent openings and store renewals in Scotland, including new foodhalls in locations such as Straiton (Edinburgh), Hamilton, Falkirk Central, Cumbernauld, East Kilbride, and Paisley. The successful performance of these stores has given M&S the confidence to accelerate its expansion program.