Anne Bruce Marks and Spencer is to continue putting its Simply Food format into bigger stores. This is because the M&S food range does not fit comfortably with a convenience store footprint. Food business unit director Justin King said a number of new Simply Food stores will be above the 3,000 sq ft convenience threshold, even though they would be restricted to six hours trading on a Sunday. He said: "It is a trade-off between the extended opening hours allowed at stores up to 3,000sq ft and sales generated by extra footage at stores above 3,000 sq ft." A Simply Food store due to open in Clapham next month, will be 4,500 sq ft, following on from the 6,000 sq ft Tottenham Court Road store opened last week. M&S chairman and chief executive Luc Vandevelde said the convenience of Simply Food was core to M&S's success on food. "We must extend our reach on food with Simply Food, following our customers where convenience food is most convenient to buy. The format fulfils a new need in the market as a meals solution store for busy people on the way home from work. The only restriction is whether we will be able to find enough stores." M&S will open 20 small food stores this year, on sites that include Manchester Piccadilly, Edinburgh and Glasgow. A further 30 are planned after that. Stores in London's Greenwich and Barnet and in Banstead, Surrey, are due to open in autumn and a fourth train station store will open in Brighton in September. l M&S this week reported a 30.7% increase in pre-tax profit to £646.7m up from £494.8m last year in its preliminary results for the year to March 30 2002. Overall sales rose 3.8% to £7.62bn, but with a second half increase of 6.9%, with food sales up 5.7% on the year. {{NEWS }}