A larger Marks and Spencer (M&S) store is plotted to replace the brand's smaller location at a North East shopping centre.

M&S have confirmed plans to replace their Simply Food store at Washington Galleries with a new, larger location at the shopping centre.

It will be moving into a 47,000 sq ft trading space unit with new clothing and home departments, as well as a larger foodhall which will be nearly double the size of the previous store.

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An M&S spokesperson has said work will now begin on the store which will bring together three previously separate retail units to create the new space.

Speaking on the opening, Andrew Crooks, regional manager for M&S, said: “We’re really excited to announce our plans to invest in the local area and open a brand new, larger M&S Store at Washington Galleries, which will offer local customers a much bigger range of M&S products in our larger Foodhall and brand new Clothing & Home departments.”

“This investment in the local area is part of how we’re rotating our store estate make sure we have the right stores to deliver an excellent shopping experience for our customers.

"We expect to be able to open the new and improved store in Spring 2024 and our existing store in Washington Galleries will remain open as usual until the development is complete.”

Meanwhile, he said the current Simply Food store in the Galleries Retail Park will remain open until the new store is ready to open.

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Adding to this, the new store is expected to open next year in the Spring period and create new jobs for residents.

Nicholas Bacon, asset manager at Columbia Threadneedle Investments, the company which manages the asset on behalf of its client, said: “We are delighted to be working with M&S on its new store as we look to bring the best in retail brands to local customers.

"The new M&S destination store, which will be located in the heart of The Galleries Retail Park, will greatly strengthen both the tenant mix and improve the footfall throughout the scheme.”