Marks and Spencer chief executive Marc Bolland opened proceedings at the new Westfield Stratford City shopping centre this morning declaring that the new M&S store will “carry the torch for the best of UK retailing”.
Adding to the Olympics analogy, Bolland likened the crowds outside the store facing the M&S Stratford team to a “rugby match”.
Elsewhere, shoppers have been queuing since 6am to get inside the centre. Winnie Wechie, first in the queue outside Forever21 said: “The centre will bring the community together. The range of shops is diverse but it’s all under one roof.”
Another shopper, Bhavyang Patel, said he won’t need to travel as far as the West End to go shopping anymore. “There are a lot of restaurants here too which this area didn’t have before,” he added.
Department store John Lewis anchors the scheme with a 260,000 sq ft store. The £35m store is the retailer’s only full-line shop to debut this year.