Marks and Spencer in Kirkcaldy High Street is about to get a major refit to give it a bright and modern new look.
And the news, which shows the store’s confidence in the town centre, has been welcomed by Kirkcaldy4All which says it will give the High Street a big boost.
The store “refresh” as it is called is believed to be costing around £500,000, although store manager Charlie Chisholm said he could not confirm the amount, saying only that it was “a significant sum.”
It will involve modernising most of the departments within the store, including a completely new bakery with the latest equipment and styling; new shelving in the wine section; a new flower section with timber decking; and an events zone for promotions.
In the clothing section there will be re-branding of the current ranges and new layouts with furniture including wardrobes used for displays and timber shelving and tables to give a more lifestyle and relaxed feel to customers’ shopping experiences.
Work is due to start on Monday and is scheduled to last for three weeks, with “minimal disruption” to customers as the majority will be carried out overnight.
Mr Chisholm (34), who has been manager at the store for the past 18 months, said he was delighted with the plans.
“The store was given a refit around four years ago, so this is great that it is to get another one and shows real confidence in our store,” he explained.
“It is great for Kirkcaldy town centre and a big coup for the High Street in general.
“From a store point of view we will be offering something slightly different for our customers; they will definitely see some new displays and a more interesting layout which is more modern and forward thinking.” Bill Harvey, manager of Kirkcaldy4All said: “Kirkcaldy 4 All applauds this investment in the High Street by Marks & Spencer’s.
“Kirkcaldy is the largest Retail Centre in Fife and as such is encouraged that such a major national retailer can see the see the long term benefits of investing in our town.”
Welcome news says Cllr Neil Crooks, chairman of Kirkcaldy area committee:
“This further investment by one of our main anchor stores on High Street is very encouraging especially after the recent sudden closure of Hendersons jewellers. M&S locally have significant market share and loyal shoppers who will enjoy this £0.5m refit which will hopefully attract more customers.
The new signage by the Mercat looks good and whilst I would love to see empty units filling up, we do have considerable retail space being used effectively. People should take a trip to the arcade where we have full occupancy for the first time in many years to find another sign of positivity.
The deep clean project currently taking place will ensure locals get the message that we care deeply about maintaning a cleaner safer environment and the success of traffic free afternoon shopping cannot be underestimated.
The BID company Kirkcaldy4All should also take credit for its continuous support and encouragement for local businesses and in my view the town centre would be less resilient if this company had not been in place in recent years.
I know discussions continue on a daily basis with potential investors and the signs of recovery generally are encouraging.
I will certainly be working through the area committee and Kirkcaldy’s Ambitions to attract investment to Kirkcaldy and if M&S have faith in their business plans it can only help our case.”