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Marks and Spencer's Foodhall at Martlesham now biggest in Suffolk after expansion

PUBLISHED: 14:39 22 February 2017 | UPDATED: 14:39 22 February 2017

Marks & Spencer Martlesham refurbished opening. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Marks & Spencer Martlesham refurbished opening. Picture: GREGG BROWN

One of Britain's best-known high street names has taken a huge step towards attracting out-of-town shoppers with the opening of major extension to its Martlesham food store.

Store manager Ashley Mills shows off Mothers' Day flowers at the extended Marks and Spencer at Martlesham Heath.Store manager Ashley Mills shows off Mothers' Day flowers at the extended Marks and Spencer at Martlesham Heath.

Marks and Spencer has had a Simply Food store at Beardmore Park in Martlesham Heath for several years – but has just completed an extension adding an extra 5,000 square feet to it.

That will allow it to sell the company’s complete 6,000-line range of food – and also has a collection area so customers can pick up clothes or household goods that they have ordered online.

The extension has led to the creation of 10 new jobs at the store – which attracts customers from a wide area.

Marks & Spencer, Martlesham, has been extended. Picture: GREGG BROWNMarks & Spencer, Martlesham, has been extended. Picture: GREGG BROWN

As part of its extension and revamp, which has taken place within the store since the start of the year, the store has expanded its café with an additional 20 seats.

The in-store bakery has also undergone a transformation, and now offers a larger selection of indulgent breads, pastries and baked goods.

An increased variety of essentials are available including fresh produce and freshly prepared meals.

Marks & Spencer Martlesham refurbished opening. Picture: GREGG BROWNMarks & Spencer Martlesham refurbished opening. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Store manager Ashley Mills said: “Customers are at the heart of everything we do at M&S and at Martlesham Heath we’ve listened carefully to their feedback to help us improve our store.

“We’re really excited that our expanded space, extended product range and excellent new colleagues will help us offer an improved shopping experience for our customers.”

He said customers came to the store from across Suffolk, including the Bury St Edmunds area, and part of Essex: “We are the largest Simply Food store in the county and people combine a visit to us with trips to other places in the area.”

Marks & Spencer Martlesham refurbished opening. Picture: GREGG BROWNMarks & Spencer Martlesham refurbished opening. Picture: GREGG BROWN

He was wary about describing the shop as a “supermarket” – but it is clearly hoping to offer an alternative, or complementary, range to the Tesco superstore on the other side of the main road.

Gerry Bathe, a regular shopper at the store, said: “It is fantastic to see a larger, more spacious Foodhall here in Martlesham.

“The extension has made a big difference – there’s so much more to see, and such a big range to choose from. I look forward to visiting the store regularly to take advantage of the wider food range.”

Beardmore Park is undergoing a major redevelopment - see more here

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