M&S celebrates 50 years in Northern Ireland

| September 12, 2017

M&S BelfastMarks & Spencer’s Chief Executive, Steve Rowe, visited the M&S Belfast store recently to mark the retailer’s milestone 50th anniversary of trading in Northern Ireland.

The company opened its first store in Donegall Place, Belfast on 7th September 1967, paving the way for UK investment into the local retailing market. To mark the anniversary opening of the store, Steve Rowe and Sacha Berendji, Retail Director, Marks & Spencer, met with Belfast’s Lord Mayor, Nuala McAllister, to officially open the store for trading. They also shared a celebratory breakfast and special anniversary cake with store colleagues at Marks & Spencer Belfast.

Steve and Sacha also visited store colleagues at Marks & Spencer Abbey Centre and Marks & Spencer Lisburn, and celebrations took place for colleagues and customers across all twenty stores across Northern Ireland.

Steve Rowe said: “Marks & Spencer is proud to be celebrating 50 years of partnership with the people of Northern Ireland. Our success here is down to the mutual support of our customers, suppliers and dedicated colleagues over the last five decades. Each and every one of them deserves a huge thank you for the role they have played in making M&S Northern Ireland the fantastic business it is today.

“This is also about celebrating the future of M&S in Northern Ireland, and our continued commitment to the region. I’m delighted to announce today that we’ll be opening a brand new Food Hall in Craigavon next year, and with more stores in the pipeline, we hope the next fifty years in Northern Ireland will be every bit as special as the last.”

The 7,400 sq ft M&S Food Hall at Craigavon will be located on Marlborough Retail Park and feature a 50 seat café. It will create c. 80 new jobs in the area.

Anniversary celebrations are taking place all day at Marks & Spencer Belfast, where customers can find food tastings, styling sessions, prizes to be won and a special visit from Percy Pig and Colin the Caterpillar. Customers can also visit the special temporary exhibition featuring highlights from the Marks & Spencer archive including trends and artefacts from the last 50 years.

Ryan Lemon, Head of Region for M&S in Northern Ireland said: “We have served the people of Northern Ireland for half a century, and our continued expansion, at Aldergrove, Carrickfergus, Newry and now Craigavon, brings even more opportunities to make every moment special for our loyal Northern Irish customers.

“We are privileged to be part of the local community in Northern Ireland and in this anniversary year, staff from every store took on 50 ambitious community projects during a two-week period, everything from renovating charity shops and animal shelters, to tea parties and sewing bees. We have also committed to play our part in delivering one million hours of community volunteering by 2025, to help make a difference to the projects and initiatives that really matter in the communities we serve.”

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