M&S to open second store in Kirkcaldy

M&S will move into the unit currently occupied by Next
M&S will move into the unit currently occupied by Next

Marks & Spencer has confirmed plans to open a second store in Kirkcaldy - a move which will create up to 50 jobs in the town.

The company is hoping to open a new Simply Food outlet at Fife Retail Park, subject to planning permission being granted.

M&S is looking to take over the premises currently occupied by Next which is taking over the Poundland unit and former JJB and Comet stores.

The expansion will create 85 jobs.

But Marks and Spencer has stressed that the new store is in addition to the existing town store, which will be unaffected by the proposals.

In February, M&S underlined its commitment to Kirkcaldy town centre with a major investment in its High Street store, giving the premises a refurbishment.

The improvements included a new bakery, rebranded clothing section and an area for events.

Colin Farrow from Hammerson, the owner of Fife Central Retail Park, told The Press he was pleased to hear about the proposal.

He said: “We are delighted to have one of the country’s best known retailers show an interest in expanding its presence in this thriving town.

‘‘This is a real vote of confidence in Kirkcaldy.”

If given the go-ahead, the new site could create up to 50 full and part-time jobs and the products on sale will be focused around high quality food, fresh produce and pre-prepared meals.

Chris Smith from M&S Simply Food said the prospect of expanding the M&S offering in Kirkcaldy was an exciting one.

He said: “Simply Food serves a different audience, who come shopping at a different time and for different products to our High Street stores.

“That is why it is so important for us to also retain our High Street presence in Kirkcaldy.”

He added: “If we are granted planning, the new Simply Food store at Fife Central Retail Park will complement our presence in the town centre and better enable M&S to meet the needs of customers who want to do their food shopping locally.”

Kirkcaldy MSP’s view

David Torrance welcomed the news of a second store but raised concerns about the long term future of the company’s High Street outlet.

He said: “It is really good news for the retail park, creating up to 50 jobs for the Kirkcaldy area, but you have to question what will be the long term future of Marks and Spencer in the High Street?

“That store is a huge draw and if that is lost, what damage will it do to the town centre? We will have to see if the Council approves it.”