Marks & Spencer has opened the doors of its latest full-line store, at the White Rose centre in Leeds – the city in which the business began as a market stall in 1884.

The 97,000 sq ft store is part of a £480m investment by Marks & Spencer in “bigger, better” branches as it reconfigures its estate.

It is one of 10 relocations this year and the premises were formerly occupied by Debenhams. M&S aims eventually to have ”180 brand-defining full-line stores just like Leeds White Rose”.

The shop incorporates features such as the queue-busting option of payment in fitting rooms and a dedicated area to showcase the M&S furniture collection, as well as a bigger footwear range and a modernised beauty department.

There is also a 164-seat café offering table service or digital ordering by smartphone.

Around 750 shoppers queued for the opening this morning. 

When it delivered full-year results yesterday, M&S said stores had performed strongly – a trend mirrored across retail as shoppers have flocked back in the aftermath of the pandemic. Chief executive Stuart Machin said he thought the White Rose branch was one of M&S’s best-looking stores so far.