Marks & Spencer is to expand its food business by opening an additional 150 Simply Food UK stores over the next three years.
The plans, which will create 5,000 jobs, will be operated with one of M&S’s existing key franchise partners in convenience locations such as motorway service areas, train stations, hospitals, petrol stations and airports.
The retailer, which has 770 UK stores, has Simply Food partnerships with BP, SSP and Moto operating in 249 stores across the UK.
M&S will also drive international growth with a new franchise partnership with major travel retailer Relay France.
“Our Food business has gone from strength to strength under our plans to transform M&S. We’ve delivered 15 quarters of like-for-like growth in the UK and have opened Food stores in cities like Amsterdam and Paris. We’re delighted to be partnering with Relay France to drive our international ambition even further,” said Marc Bolland, M&S Chief Executive.
M&S said in a statement that there would be the potential for further expansion into additional travel locations in the future and added the new French stores would offer customers convenient access to a range of up to 2,500 M&S products.
Steve Rowe, Executive Director of Food commented: This franchise and owned expansion offers us an opportunity to continue to grow our customer base and business, building on the progress we have already made.”