Paris à la Carte

April 5, 2011By Nick HammondShopping

Return of Marks & Sparks

Ten years ago, when the quintessentially British food and clothes retailer Marks & Spencer decided to withdraw all its outlets from France, there was a sense of collective despair and outrage. After all, its main Paris store was the most profitable M&S in the world, so why abandon a ship that was coasting along quite happily and was seemingly in no danger of sinking? I had long been somewhat bemused by the passionate attachment that my Parisian friends seemed to have for M&S, but I put it down to the fact that most of these friends were also committed Anglophiles. When I witnessed a protest outside one of its Paris stores 10 years ago, attended not only by employees disgruntled at the fact that they would soon be losing their jobs but also by mourning clients, I realized that the love of M&S was much more widespread and deeply felt than I had first thought.

Well, Parisians, mourn no more! A new three-story, 1,000-square-meter Marks & Spencer is due to open later this year on the Champs-Elysées, and you will be able to buy all the coleslaw, shortbread, muffins and Earl Grey tea you want. Apparently a few more stores are planned in and around Paris and, perhaps most usefully, another five of M&S’s smaller Simply Food outlets will be opend in or near railway stations.


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