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M&S to Open Foodhall in Ladymead But ‘Remain Committed’ to Town Centre Store

Published on: 6 Jul, 2021
Updated on: 7 Jul, 2021

By Hugh Coakley

Marks and Spencer have reached initial agreement with landlords for a new foodhall at Ladymead but say they “remain committed” to the Guildford town centre branch.

A new M&S Foodhall may be destined for Ladymead in the vacated Oak Furnitureland unit, closed in 2020.

A planning application made in December 2020 by Ladymead Retail Park, to which M&S contributed, requests their current permission to be changed to allow the sale of food and drink. The new M&S 1,288 square metre shop could be on the former site of the Oak Furnitureland store which closed in 2020.

The planning document says it will have “limited” impact on the town centre but it could have an impact on the new Lidl, opened nearby in June 2021.

Marks and Spencer’s Foodhall allowed it to stay open in the town centre during covid lockdowns as an essential supplier.

Some are doubtful that the new store will not affect the High Street Marks and Spencer. One well-placed source told The Dragon it could mean a change in priorities of allocation of floor space in the large town centre store with possibly more space for homeware and less needed for food.

Ladymead Retail Park said they were concerned Sports Direct was “holding off” signing a new lease. Argos has closed their adjacent store.

The application cited the “growing concern” retail park owners had late last year about Sports Direct “holding off” signing a new lease. They said Argos and Tapi Carpets “remained at risk”. Since then, the Argos unit on the retail park has closed.

M&S say Ladymead Retail Park gives them access to “sufficient numbers of the higher socio-economic groups who form the majority of M&S customers” and that it gives them “scope to increase M&S market share without impacting significantly” on their own stores.

Other M&S stores include the Simply Food store at Guildford Station and franchises in the Royal Surrey Hospital and Merrow BP petrol station.

Currys PC World moved to Ladymead Retail Park in late 2020.

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Responses to M&S to Open Foodhall in Ladymead But ‘Remain Committed’ to Town Centre Store

  1. Jim Allen Reply

    July 7, 2021 at 10:18 am

    It could simply be that the parking space availability at Ladymead will be more convenient for customers.

  2. Ben Stonehouse Reply

    July 7, 2021 at 2:04 pm

    Likely to be similar to the new dedicated food hall in Staines.

  3. Judith Budd Reply

    July 7, 2021 at 2:15 pm

    An M&S food hall this side of town would be more than welcome. I am disabled as a result of suffering myeloma, so do not venture into the town centre with few parking bays for the disabled, which then make it difficult for me to shop. As a consequence I use Ocado for food delivery particularly as they have joined with M&S and in between times I drive to M&S at Brooklands.

    I sincerely hope that they are successful in having a good hall in the Ladymead.

  4. Barry Williams Reply

    July 9, 2021 at 12:12 pm

    Judith Budd refers to the Ocado link up. Could that be the rationale for having a Ladymead facility as it could more easily accommodate their delivery vans than a town centre point?

    Ladymead is a good idea from M&S but please do not downgrade the town centre food offering.

  5. David Corrie Reply

    October 22, 2021 at 7:21 pm

    Sincerely hope M&S are successful in their bid to get this retail space. I have been a loyal customer for years and have craved something along the lines of their Camberley food hall. This is the answer for Guildford.

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