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Announcing the latest company investment of a whopping £12.5 million in London and the creation of over 200 new jobs in the city, the CEO of Marks & Spencer, Stuart Machin, has both lauded and lamented the state of the UK’s capital. In a letter to the Evening Standard, Machin expressed his disapproval of the present condition of the high street in London, proclaiming that the city is “on life support” and has failed to keep pace with other major metropolitan areas.

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London on Life Support

Machin minced no words in his criticism of the UK government’s decision to do away with tax-free shopping and the presence of “tacky candy stores” on the famous Oxford Street. In his view, the high street has degenerated into a “national embarrassment,” attracting very little footfall and witnessing considerable anti-social behavior. The footfall, he noted, remains 11% down on pre-pandemic levels, a worrying trend that raises concerns about the future of London’s high street.

M&S Investment in London

Despite his scathing critique, Machin confirmed that Marks & Spencer will pour a massive £12.5 million in London this year and plans to open a new M&S store in Croydon as well as an M&S food hall in Earlsfield. This latest investment comes on the heels of the previous year’s outlay of over £10 million in the company’s London stores, underlining M&S’s commitment to the capital.

Redevelopment of Marble Arch Store

As part of its wider investment plans, M&S awaits the Levelling Up Secretary’s final verdict on the redevelopment of its Marble Arch store located on Oxford Street. The company has proposed demolishing the existing building and replacing it with a new one that will not only house its retail operations but also feature offices, a café, and a gym. However, the plans have encountered staunch opposition, adding yet another layer of complexity to M&S’s ambitious investment plans.

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Hi I'm Oliver Smith, I would say that I take great pride in my work as a journalist and strive to produce high-quality, impactful stories that make a difference. With more than eight years of experience under my belt, I am passionate about uncovering the truth and shining a light on issues that matter.


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