Revamped Norwich M&S on target for grand opening in October

Work on the major redevelopment of Norwich's Marks & Spencer store on Rampant Horse Street is continuing apace, and a grand opening is planned for October.

The 18-month project is part of one of the biggest redesigns in M&S's 99-year history in the city but the store has remained open since the redevelopment work started in August. The changes are part of an ambitious expansion which is bringing a new cafe, hot food area and M&S Kitchen restaurant, which is aimed at providing more upmarket food and is already open.

In May the work on the lower first floor is due to be completed and the third floor extension is due to start, while in July the menswear department and Bureau de Change are due to open.

The new Hot Food To Go section is scheduled to open in August, along with the first floor extension, followed by the homeware department, second floor, lingerie boutique and the whole basement in September.

Finally, work is set be completed in October when the third floor opens and the new M&S store is launched.

Store manager at M&S Norwich Andy Barber said: 'It is very exciting to see the development progress quickly.

'The latest phase has seen a steel structure being built on the extended corner of Rampant Horse Street and Malthouse Lane. This structure really gives you a sense of scale with regard to how the completed building will look.

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'The fact that we can now say 'we launch the new store this year' means an increased sense of excitement and anticipation for everyone.

'We have been completing all our key phased handover dates on time and are progressing positively towards an expected autumn completion.'

The revamp will increase floorspace from 79,000 sq ft to 115,000 sq ft and create more than 150 new jobs in the city and Mr Barber added that maintaining a strong presence in the city was important to M&S.

He said: 'M&S has been a huge part of the Norwich retail offering in the city and has been trading on the existing site for over 60 years, so this development is great news for our customers and the city.

'The team are hugely proud of the work we are doing and delighted to be part of such a big development.

'Over the last few weeks the team have just moved into their new offices including new staff catering facilities, which has further heightened their excitement about the development and the changes to the store.'

Have you got a story about the retail trade for the Evening News? Contact reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or email david.freezer@archant.co.uk