CGI of expanded Aberdeen Union Square store

Source: M&S

A computer rendering of how the expanded Aberdeen Union Square store will look

M&S is investing £30m in Scottish stores, with five new openings and expansions planned over the next 18 months.

The new investment will support over 6,500 M&S jobs, according to the retailer.

New or expanded stores are set to open in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Largs and Linlithgow.

Half of the £30m investment will go to almost doubling the size of M&S Aberdeen Union Square, turning it into a flagship large-format store, with a fresh market-style Foodhall including a dedicated M&S Wine Shop, as well as bigger clothing, home and beauty departments.

Expansion of the Aberdeen store – into Scotland’s biggest M&S – is due to be completed by spring 2025, after which the retailer will close its clothing store on nearby St Nicholas Street. M&S said the plans had been shared with staff today (18 January), with all those on permanent contracts due to transfer to Aberdeen Union Square or other nearby stores.

Linlithgow will get a new M&S Foodhall later this month, while a new full-line store is set to open in Dundee’s Gallagher Retail Park this summer.

M&S will also open in Largs for the first time with a new Foodhall due in early 2025.

“This is our biggest-ever investment in Scotland, putting £30m into transforming the shopping experience for customers in Aberdeen, Largs, Dundee and Linlithgow – bringing new jobs across the country with bigger, better, fresh market-style Foodhalls and new opportunities for Scottish shoppers to access our best-ever, most inspiringly presented clothing, home and beauty range,” said Sacha Berendji, M&S operations director.

“Our investment in Scotland goes beyond new stores, with M&S sourcing more Scottish produce than ever before, through strong partnerships with local producers.

“Around 2,500 Scottish farms, sea farms and fisheries supply us with great-quality products, many supplied beyond Scotland to M&S stores across the UK. Our commitment to Scotland has never been stronger.”

Rachel Rankine, M&S north east regional manager, said: “The scale of our investment is a vote of confidence in the future of retail in Aberdeen city centre, with a flagship store on the same scale as city centre stores in Birmingham and Liverpool.

“Where we have already invested in new formats, our customers have responded to the destination shopping experience and Aberdeen shoppers can look forward to having a bigger, better, fresher Foodhall and the best in M&S clothing and home.”

The plans mean M&S will have more than 15 stores across Scotland in its ‘renewal’ format, aiming to appeal more to families.