M&S opens new clothing and food store with digital focus

Marks & Spencer has opened a new clothing and food store at Nottingham Giltbrook as part of the retailer’s “store reshape”, which it says isn’t just about the right locations but is “about using digital technology to create more efficient stores.”

A statement from the retailer says that Giltbrook Retail Park is easily accessible to family customers in both Derby and Nottingham – with a combined population of 750,000 people, the biggest population in the UK not served by an out-of-town M&S store.

The new shop will complement the main Nottingham city centre store and has resulted in the closure of the off-pitch additional city centre shop, with all staff being redeployed to the new site.

This is M&S’s second major opening that includes clothing and home this year, following the retailer’s relocation from Rochdale High Street to Rochdale Riverside in April. A third opening is taking place in Maidstone next month at Eclipse Retail Park.

As part of its accelerated transformation, M&S has a significantly renewed management team including Helen Milford, who joined as stores director in June. Milford said: “The need for the right shaped store estate has only been accelerated by this unprecedented time.

“Whilst it’s a challenging environment to open in, major openings such as Nottingham Giltbrook demonstrate how we’re adapting our portfolio to serve customers how they want to be served – digitally connected and seamlessly integrated with the online journey for those who shop online and collect in store.”

Customers in Nottingham Giltbrook will be able to use the updated M&S app, which is now better integrated with the M&S in store experience, to access both “Sparks” – M&S’s relaunched digital loyalty scheme, and Mobile Pay Go, the retailer’s  checkout-free technology.

According to the statement, M&S’s app has seen strong growth since March, with over one million downloads. Staff will be on hand to help customers download the app and each day – in the first week of opening – one local “Sparks” customer will be gifted their entire shop for free.

Nottingham Giltbrook has been set up so digital technology makes it easier for customers to shop, with customer wi-fi being made available, not only in M&S, but in the wider Giltbrook Park. Seamlessly integrated with M&S.com, the click and collect desk is located on the ground floor next to the food hall, offering convenience for customers doing their weekly food shop.

The store team will use Honeywell digital devices to look up orders and quickly collect customers’ parcels. Additionally, through local digital communication, customers will be kept up to date about what’s new at the store. Giltbrook is also the very first M&S clothing store to open with a Facebook page.

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