The new M&S store, formerly occupied by Debenhams which closed permanently in May this year, represents a significant upsize for the brand at the destination. It will feature a 15,000 sq ft M&S Foodhall, as well as Womenswear, Lingerie, Beauty, Childrenswear, Menswear, and Home departments, and for the first time at White Rose, an M&S Café. All staff will be retained and transferred to the new M&S, with additional recruitment to support the larger store, and the existing store within White Rose will remain open until the new unit is ready.
The relocation has been made possible by Landsec’s proposals to transform the former Debenhams unit. Landsec are investing significant capital into the unit, with planning secured for a comprehensive modernisation of the main front elevation to create a new, full-height glazed frontage, and car park entrance including new electric vehicle charge points and enhanced public realm. Works are set to commence in October 2021, with a target launch date in 2023.
The move also forms part of M&S’s store estate transformation, a process designed to meet the needs of customers now and in the future, reflecting the changing nature of shopping habits.
Pablo Sueiras, Senior Portfolio Director at Landsec, commented: “We are shaping White Rose Leeds in a way that truly meets all the needs of our community, combining fashion, dining, leisure, and convenience. We have seen over the last year just how important the offer of brands like M&S has been, and we are delighted to have secured this upsize with them. Landsec has invested significantly to create this bespoke unit for M&S, which is undoubtedly the best way to transform this space to improve the White Rose offer for our guests.
“The relocation and significantly upsized M&S store also demonstrates the strong performance at White Rose, and the centre’s role in providing flagship stores for key brands in the region. This follows upsizes in recent years with Next and River Island, and is further evidence of our commitment to support operators that want to expand their offer at White Rose.”
Paula Varley, Regional Manager for M&S, said: “We’re really excited to announce our plans to move to a brand-new, larger M&S full line store in White Rose. All colleagues in our existing store will move to work in the new store and we’re also delighted to be creating new roles on top of this. This investment in Leeds and the wider local area is part of the reshaping of our store estate to make sure it’s fit for the future, meeting the needs of customers today – and those of tomorrow.”
White Rose is a leading regional destination for Leeds and Yorkshire, with 5,000 parking spaces allowing safe access to over 800,000 sq ft of retail, dining, and leisure. By combining convenience in the form of Sainsbury’s and M&S, with leading retailers such as Primark and Zara, and leisure operators including an 11-screen Cineworld with IMAX, The Escapologist, and a varied F&B mix, White Rose creates a genuinely all-day offer.
Time Retail Partners and JLL represent Landsec on the retail, while Pudney Shuttleworth and JLL advise on the F&B and leisure at White Rose.