Looking back as new M&S foodhall opens in Kirkcaldy

The Marks & Spencer Kirkcaldy store opened at 166 High Street on August 19 1938. Images courtesy of The Marks & Spencer Company Archive.
The Marks & Spencer Kirkcaldy store opened at 166 High Street on August 19 1938. Images courtesy of The Marks & Spencer Company Archive.
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It’s been a staple on the High Street in Kirkcaldy since it first opened its doors to shoppers on August 19, 1938, but a new era has come for Marks & Spencer as it opened a second store in the Lang Toun this week.

The new M&S Foodhall at Fife Central Retail Park welcomed its first customers through the doors yesterday (Wednesday).

M&S Kirkcaldy store air raid precaution team fire-watching on the store roof in 1941.  During the Second World War staff volunteered to fire-watch on the store roof and were trained in Air Raid Precaution methods.

M&S Kirkcaldy store air raid precaution team fire-watching on the store roof in 1941. During the Second World War staff volunteered to fire-watch on the store roof and were trained in Air Raid Precaution methods.

But as the it opens, we take a look back on the company’s long history in the town, having employed many local people throughout the generations, as well as looking to the
future.

When it originally opened at 166 High Street almost 80 years ago the store’s floor space was around 8000 square feet.

Following a number of expansions over the years, including the latest refurbishment in 2014, the current store has over 23,000 square feet of floor space.

As times have changed in the decades since its opening, so too has the range of products and services that the store has offered Langtonians.

M&S Kirkcaldy in 1959'The store was extended in May 1955, adding 4,300 square feet to the area of the store.

M&S Kirkcaldy in 1959'The store was extended in May 1955, adding 4,300 square feet to the area of the store.

What you’ll find in the shop today is somewhat different to what was on offer before World War Two.

And during that war, the staff at the town’s M&S played an important role in the local community, with staff volunteering to be part of the air raid precaution team, fire-watching on the store roof and being trained in air raid precaution methods.

The new store has a team of 60 employees.

Anna Reekie, manager, said: “The retail park is there to complement the High Street. We are committed to the presence of a High Street store.”

M&S Kirkcaldy in 1965

M&S Kirkcaldy in 1965

Anna (28) who progressed through Marks and Spencer plc’s graduate scheme and previously spent two years working in the High Street shop, added: “We were joined for the opening by representatives from Bliss, which is our charity partnership for the year, and also by some of the players from Raith Rovers.’’

M&S Kirkcaldy in 1979

M&S Kirkcaldy in 1979