Since losing some weight, I have developed a fondness for shopping. I love being able to walk in to a shop and pick up something in my new lower size from the rail, this is quite novel for me as I’ve not been able to do this for such a long time. So when I was invited to visit the new Marks and Spencer opening at Riverside in Stafford I was really looking forward to having a look around.
The new store is enormous, it’s more than double the size of the old Stafford store in Gaolgate Street so it’s no surprise that inside there’s all the departments that you would expect to see in an M&S store. Due to it’s size, the store is able to stock a wide range of products including Womenswear, Menswear, Kidswear and Homeware. There’s also a new Beauty Department, a very large Foodhall and a 110-seat Café with views across the river.
I arrived at the store for it’s Grand Opening just before 10am and there were lots of excited customers waiting outside who couldn’t wait to get in. I was listening to conversations as the ribbon was cut and from what I heard, it’s safe to say that the folk of Stafford are pretty pleased that a Marks and Spencer store of this size has opened in the town and they’ll be visiting the store instead of ones in larger towns nearby.
Once the ribbon had been cut, it was time to take a look inside. The store, as you would expect, was very clean but not just because it was new, the interior was well spaced out with rails of clothes, shoes and accessories neatly organised and displayed. It looked really smart and made me want to look and touch everything.
I made a beeline for the Per Una collection looking at the latest collection of jackets, t-shirts and jeans. I fell in love with this mustard jacket so decided to bring it home to start off my capsule Autumn wardrobe (any excuse!) After spending a good half an hour exploring the ground floor and finding some gorgeous blue ankle boots in my size, I took the escalator upstairs to have a good nosey around.
I wanted to check out the facilities that were in store so popped into the toilets which were all very family friendly. The queue to the Café was extraordinary (Stafford folk love a good cup of tea and a slice of cake!) so went back downstairs to the Foodhall to pick up some lunch. I love Marks and Spencer Foodhall, so many lovely things to buy from fresh fruit, meat, bread and a good selection of fine wines. There were quite a few things to sample and I can confirm the M&S Bucks Fizz is particularly thirst quenching.
On the day there was also a little giveaway in conjunction with Free Radio and presenter Ed Nell was on hand to drum up excitement. Hidden around the store were gold Staffordshire knots and if you found one, you could exchange it for a gift card. To my surprise, I found one in a plant pot and bagged myself a £10 gift card. Thank you M&S!
One of the things that I spotted when waiting for the store to open was the number of families that were excited by the new store opening. There were lots of people from all generations which just goes to show how popular Marks and Spencer is with different age groups. I think the people of Stafford and its surrounding towns are going to be very happy with their new Marks and Spencer Riverside store and I’ll definitely consider coming back to Stafford to shop here instead of driving elsewhere. I parked my car in the underground car park which has lifts that go directly into store. It wasn’t expensive to park and the store is in a great convenient location just off the main roundabout in Stafford Town Centre.
If you’re local, I’d definitely recommend popping into the new M&S Stafford Riverside store for a spot of shopping and a slice of cake. M&S at Stafford Riverside Shopping Centre will be open 8am – 8pm Monday – Saturday and 11am – 5pm on Sundays.
Disclosure: I was invited along to attend the event and was given a gift card to spend in store. I have also been compensated for my time.