23/05/2002

M&S store opens in Bangor's Bloomfield Centre

Marks & Spencer promised customers a totally new shopping experience on Thursday May 23 when the Bangor branch opened its doors to a bigger and brighter store.

Opened by Lady Sylvia Hermon and local celebrity, Gillian Porter, the new look 45,500 square foot store at the Bloomfield Shopping Centre on the outskirts of Bangor, represents an investment of £13.5 million.

As a result of the expansion programme, the store now employs more than 220 permanent staff - creating up to 100 new jobs in the local community.

Graham Sorah, Divisional Executive for Marks & Spencer in Northern Ireland, said: “Our new look store is an indication of our ongoing commitment to Northern Ireland and we are delighted to play a part in the further economic development of the Bangor area.

“We now employ 1,800 people in our stores and distribution centre in the province, and annually buy more than £260 million worth of goods from local suppliers which are distributed to Marks & Spencer outlets across the UK. We look forward to continued, successful growth in Northern Ireland.”

In response to extensive research conducted by Marks & Spencer, customers will be able to benefit from a range new initiatives, services and product ranges in the Bangor store. These include: more womenswear and lingerie; a new ‘per una’ shop; a new beauty shop with trained beauty advisors; and also new menswear and childrenswear departments.

The store now boasts additional car parking facilities for 300 vehicles, an 80-seater Cafe Revive coffee shop, an extended food department with in-store bakery, and new fitting rooms with ordering facilities.

Jennifer Paisley, Store Manager, Marks & Spencer Bangor, said: “Our Northern Ireland shoppers have been the driving forces for this transformation at Bangor.

“The new look Bangor store represents our vision for a new look and feel for Marks & Spencer – customers will not only see a difference, they’ll feel the difference too. We are confident this new look store at Bangor will bring us closer to the needs of our customers.”

Many local suppliers have been involved in helping Marks & Spencer Bangor with its opening preparations. Among them is construction company McLaughlin & Harvey, which has worked on all seven stores in the province, since Marks & Spencer first opened in Northern Ireland in 1967.

(SP)

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