UK high street retailer Marks & Spencer has indicated it will open full-line stores and the Simply Food format in The Netherlands over the next two years. M&S is returning to the Netherlands with the opening of an Amsterdam-based store that will carry a food and non-food offer on 17 April and plans to open a further two full-line stores in The Hague and Amsterdam.
Marks and Spencer has also entered into an agreement to open six Simply Food pilots at BP forecourts in Randstad. The company said the new agreement is part of M&S’s plans to open franchises for M&S Simply Food stores in Western Europe, the company said. There are now over 160 M&S Simply Food stores at BP forecourts throughout the UK.
M&S now plans to become a leading international and multi-channel retailer, relaunched its business in France in 2011. It will open a further three Parisian stores this financial year, launched a website in Belgium last autumn and plans to open a flagship store in Brussels in 2015.
Food sales in the UK over the Easter week were up 14% on last year with healthy food sales also strong, including M&S’s private label brands Simply Fuller Longer and Count On Us. Improved food sales helped M&S lift its total like-for-like store sales 0.6% for the 13 weeks to 30 March, 2013.