Property News - M&S opens Scottish Simply Food

Marks & Spencer has secured another key central London site for its burgeoning Simply Food chain, and has agreed to go into the struggling Ocean Terminal development at Leith, in Edinburgh.

In the City of London, M&S has agreed a lease on a 290 sq m store in the Paternoster Square development, opposite St Paul's Cathedral. The new store is to open in August.

M&S is opening its first Simply Food outlet in Scotland in April, following a deal with Forth Ports, owner of the Ocean Terminal shopping centre at Leith, in Edinburgh. It will trade from a 1,000 sq m unit on the centre's first floor. The landlord has also signed up several other new retailers, including French Connection, Athena and Boots the Chemist.

Marks & Spencer property surveyor Matt Diamond said: 'At present, we have 12 Simply Food stores, seven of which are in London. 11 more stores will open over the next few months, including four London stores at Swiss Cottage; Balham; Fulham and Green Park.'

The Simply Food format is flexible enough to trade from units from 230 sq m to 1,000 sq m, giving from 140 sq m to 650 sq m of trading space.

The plan is to roll out 150 stores by 2005, including 40 franchised railway station stores.