M&S Leeds Food announce open date

NADV 1406028AM1 Andrea Watson the store manager of the new M&S on Leeds Road. (1406028AM1)
NADV 1406028AM1 Andrea Watson the store manager of the new M&S on Leeds Road. (1406028AM1)

Marks and Spencer’s new Simply Food store on Leeds Road will open its doors to the public on June 25.

The 10,000 sq ft store has created 50 new jobs in the area, with many of the new hires living walking distance from the supermarket.

Store manager Andrea Watson has worked at Marks and Spencer for almost 30 years, working at the Harrogate town centre shop and various M&S Foods across the North of England.

She said: “I just can’t wait to get in there and get opened.

“It is going to be a busy few weeks, the Tour de France and the Great Yorkshire Show will be huge for us, but everyone is excited, there is so much going on in Harrogate.”

Roadworks and traffic jams have blighted the store’s build, with nearby shopkeepers calling on the councils to review procedure after a drop in footfall on Oatlands Parade.

The Oatlands traders committee handed a petition to North Yorkshire County Council’s Harrogate area committee last week, complaining that the work had been poorly managed by the council.

In the past the traders have called on M&S for support.

Mrs Watson said she is looking forward to working with the Oatlands traders and is keen for the M&S to become part of the community.

She said: “I live nearby and I can and will walk to walk, so the shops neighbours are my community.

“We have already had some sit down meetings with the local traders and will continue to have regular meetings.”

She added: “We are committed to working with residents and customers to make a difference locally and we are keen to work in partnership with local businesses to deliver a vibrant shopping parade on Leeds Road.”

Mrs Watson said she is hoping to organise school trips to the shop, giving pupils a sneak peak behind the scenes following on from Oatlands School students visiting the building site.

The shop will sell a full range of M&S food, with more than 4,500 food and drink lines - including Mrs Watson’s new favourite, a fish and chip pie. The shop will also sell a selection of flowers, cards and gift wrap.

There will be a new 68-seat Café and in-store Bakery, as well as the Shop Your Way service, allowing people to ordering from the M&S.com in-store or online, with free next day in-store delivery and collection.

No retailer has yet been announced for M&S Simply Food’s neighbouring unit.

The brand new store will open at 10am on Wednesday June 25.