Wednesday, September 22, 2021
Real EstateUK

M&S move to Bullring termed ‘incredibly positive’

Marks & Spencer

The M&S move will see staff relocating from High Street to the new store which will have a food hall below its clothes and homeware floors

The decision by Marks & Spencer (M&S) to move from its current High Street location and into the former Debenhams’ store in the Bullring has been described as an “incredibly positive” boost for Birmingham city centre.

The M&S move will see all 150 staff relocating from High Street to the new store which will have a two-storey food hall below its clothes and homeware floors by the time it opens in late 2022 or early 2023.

Looking at the M&S decision to move into the Bullring, West Midlands Mayor Mr Street said: I think Marks & Spencer’s move to the Bullring is incredibly positive.

It is no secret that M&S have scarce capital to expend and have had to make tough decisions across their estate recently, so the fact they have chosen to not only stay in the city centre but invest and expand is brilliant news, he said.

They are one of the most admired brands in the country so it really is a vote of confidence in Birmingham and the city’s real estate that they have made this investment. They are a top-class tenant for the Bullring – even if I have to say that through gritted teeth given they rejected my job application all those years ago!

Marks & Spencer’s regional manager Katherine Ottewell said: This investment in the city is part of the wider reshaping of our store estate to make sure it’s fit for the future, meeting the needs of customers today and those of tomorrow. We will keep the community updated as the works progress.

M&S has been at the forefront of developing out-of-town shopping during the past six years.

Mr Street said: What happens over time in city centres is that you see an ebbing and flowing of different sectors changing over the years.

We know for example that in recent years office space and accommodation has been expanding whilst retail has been retracting. There is nothing unusual about this and it’s this change that helps to keep city centre spaces fresh, he said.

I personally think it’s great that we now have a real retail cluster centred around the Bullring and Grand Central whilst other parts are looking to diversify. We must not forget that cities are mobile and this kind of change is normal, he said.

Mr Street said: When looking at the future of Corporation Street however one cannot ignore Martineau Place and that area of the city centre. It is very clear that work needs to be done there and we must get to that next.

Meanwhile, until October, the West Midlands Metro tram route on Corporation Street is currently being totally rebuilt after just five years and two months in service.

Mr Street said planning authorities should think about protecting city centre retailers from too much competition in other areas. There is a tight line to be walked. I would say at the moment the two offer different things – convenience versus experience.

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