Even before the ribbon cutting had begun a queue of eager shoppers had formed either side of the entrance. However, once the store had officially opened many, many more presumably waiting in their cars to avoid the rather unpleasant weather poured in through the doors and kept on coming.
I managed to sneak in ahead of the shoppers and take a few photos, including the Café pictured below and not even fifteen minutes after it had open I don’t think there was a single vacant seat.
I don’t think it would be understating it to say that the people of Sittingbourne have been waiting for this day for decades and the arrival of M&S in Sittingbourne has certainly created a great deal of excitement and anticipation in the months and weeks leading up to this day.
Store Manager Mark Miskin who has been with M&S for over five years told us
“Today’s store launch has been a huge success and a great opportunity for us to meet our local community. The support we have received in the lead up to our opening from Sittingbourne’s residents has been outstanding and it was great to finally invite them to see our new Foodhall.”
“Our customers are at the heart of everything we do, and we know they will have high expectations from us so we cannot wait to introduce them to our new innovative range of spring food and drink in store. With Mother’s Day and Easter just around the corner, we have a wide selection of foodie gifts in store, and our Café is the perfect place to enjoy cup of tea and a slice of cake with friends and family over the holidays.”
The opening of the M&S Foodhall has created 70 new jobs most of which have gone to locals.
Honestly, I didn’t quite know what I expected, but whatever it was, the store is much larger than I had imagined and includes a 48 seat Café tucked away at the far right of the store offering the usual array of hot and cold beverages, freshly made cakes, snacks and light meals.
Mark Miskin commented “We have a wide selection of innovative fresh produce and ingredients that M&S customers love, indulgent dining options and foodie gifts just in time for Mother’s Day and Easter.”
“Pastry lovers will delight in the in-store bakery, offering freshly baked croissants, chocolate twists and cinnamon swirls as well as a variety of breads and baked goods. For customers seeking something that tastes delicious but is packed with hearty, wholesome and fresh ingredients, M&S’s new Health range, including Nourish Bowls, make-at-home Eat Well soups and exciting new Balanced for You dishes will provide the perfect balance. A variety of M&S’s everyday essentials, popular prepared meals, delicatessen foods, beers, wines and spirits will also be available.”
“Customers will be able to take advantage of the popular Click and Collect service which gives them the option to have their M&S.com orders delivered to the store the next day free of charge.”
For those that don’t know the store is located at Sittingbourne Retail Park, Mill Way, Sittingbourne, Kent, ME10 2XD. Opening hours are 8am – 8pm Monday – Saturday, and 10am – 4pm Sunday