Marks & Spencer has confirmed it is to extend its new Lifestores concept - even before the pilot outlet has opened.

The chain is spending £60m on its Lifestore concept where homewares are grouped together by ideas such as “rest” and “relaxing” as opposed to the more traditional categories such as flooring or bedding.

The concept will be tested at a pilot store opening in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear in February 2004.

Now M&S has announced it will open two more Lifestores - a town centre store in Kingston-upon-Thames opening next summer and a large scale store within Lakeside Retail Park in West Thurrock opening in summer 2005.

Lifestore is the brainchild of former chief executive of Selfridges, Vittorio Raddice, who said: “The extension of the pilot is a significant step in our explorative journey into the opportunities we see in the home market and will enable us to test the proposition in different locations and formats.”