Fashion and food giant Marks & Spencer will tomorrow finally throw open the doors on its new-look multi-million store in the heart of Peterborough city centre.
After the 200 staff have celebrated with a glass each of Prosecco, customers will be welcomed into the Queensgate store from 10am and treated to an array of entertainments.
The immediate impression is one of freshness - everything from flooring to fixtures is new and of the lastest design - and there is an ease in getting around.
Manager Emma Burrell said that from the ground floor food hall to the new third floor menswear and 90 seat cafe, the focus has been on the “customer journey” throughout the store.
She explained how the layout of displays and walkways had been carefully arranged to ensure a seamless and smooth path around the shop.
Cosy boutiques of women and men’s fashion, lingerie and beauty brands have been created.
They are easier on the eye than large displays that sprawl confusingly across an entire floor and it is more tempting to stop and browse. In Kidsworld, all the fixtures have been designed with the younger customers in mind.
The size of the new store is 50,000 sq ft and M&S says it has sourced products that are suitable for Peterborough customers. There are many more products lines and the atmosphere is softer and welcoming. Its creation has taken more than a year of planning and 26 weeks of construction, which has included the installation of new escalators. It has meant the closure of the M&S store in Bridge Street, Peterborough, and the removal of its home furnishings from Queensgate to its store at the Brotherhood Shooping Park. For staff the good news is that no one will be made redundant.
All the staff in Bridge Street will work at Queensgate.
Music and entertainment from a Connect FM DJ will broadcast throughout the new M&S store in Queensgate on Friday.
It will be the backdrop to a day of entertainment and information at the store for customers.
Food specialists from confectioners Kinnerton and food maker Bakkavor will be on hand with tips and displays.
In the beauty department, a skincare specialist will be in store to help customers while three M&S fashion stylists and a bra technologist will be available with fashion and fitting advice.
A tailoring expert has been lined up and in the cafe there will be a display of Latte art from a barista.
There will be free face painting for children. Throughout the day there will be opportunities for customers to win gift vouchers and there will be offers on the M&S Spa