Marks & Spencer is to open a store in Paris on the Champs-Elysees as early as this summer, it is understood.

The retailer will take a 1,400 sq m premises occupied at present by Esprit, according to French newspaper La Tribune.

Marks & Spencer shut its French business in 2001 as part of retrenchment following its difficulties in the late 1990s.

Sir Stuart Rose prioritised international growth when he became chief executive of Marks & Spencer in 2004 but focused on emerging markets such as China and India.

Overseas growth remains a priority of Marc Bolland, who succeeded Rose as Marks & Spencer chief executive last year.

Marks & Spencer declined to comment on La Tribune’s story.