Retailer Marks & Spencer has announced plans for 150 new franchise and owned UK Simply Food stores in the next three years in order "to further enhance its specialist food positioning and reduce drive times to access M&S Food".
Roughly half of those stores will be of around 2,000 square feet and operated in convenience locations (think motorway services, train stations, hospitals, petrol statuion forecourts and airports).
The others will be M&S owned and take up approximately 10,000 to 15,000 square feet. All in, the new stores should create over 5,000 new retail jobs.
Marc Bolland, M&S chief executive, said "our Food business has gone from strength to strength under our plans to transform M&S. We’ve delivered 15 quarters of like-for-like growth in the UK and have opened Food stores in cities like Amsterdam and Paris."