Vangarde Shopping Park opened in York today (April 10), bringing John Lewis to the city for the first time as well as the region’s largest M&S store and a 30,000 sq ft Next.
A crowd of 150 people queued from early morning outside the 92,000 sq ft John Lewis flagship. The store is the company’s 41st and stocks more than 30 menswear and womenswear brands including Ted Baker, Whistles and Jigsaw, as well as John Lewis own brands such as Somerset by Alice Temperley.
The store also has an additional 70 accessories brands including Michael Kors, Marc by Marc Jacobs and Calvin Klein, as well as kidswear.
Andy Street, managing director of John Lewis, said it had been trying to secure a site in York for a long time.
He said: “York has long been a sought-after location for us and we’re delighted to be able to expand our reach to customers across the Yorkshire region, providing them with more convenient access to our inspiring products and great service. We’re looking forward to becoming part of the local community here in York.”
The other anchor store in the centre is a 100,000 sq ft branch of Marks & Spencer – the biggest store opened by M&S since its Cheshire Oaks launch in August 2012 and one of the retailer’s top 30 stores.
The M&S store includes an 18,000 sq ft womenswear department, a 1,500 sq ft beauty hall, a 14,700 sq ft homeware department, a 170-seat M&S cafe and a 15,800 sq ft food hall.
The store is also one of the retailer’s greenest stores, with a 60,000 litre tank that recycles rainwater, two green living walls totalling over 1,800 sq ft, which are designed to attract wildlife and retain heat, electric car charging points, refurbished trolleys, and the store is also part-powered by 600 solar panels, a first for Marks & Spencer.
M&S Vangarde store manager Hilary Wilkinson said the shop had a “terrific” first day of trading.
She added: “There were queues outside first thing and the store’s been really well received by our customers. We’ve got the best of M&S here under one roof and one of the best teams in the M&S business, so I’m looking forward to a successful first few weeks.”
The 339,000 sq ft Vangarde Shopping Park, developed by Oakgate Group, is situated on the edge of the city at Monks Cross. It has 1,340 free car parking spaces and is also home to a host of cafes and restaurants including Giraffe, Costa Coffee, Prezzo, Ed’s Easy Diner, Nando’s and Frankie & Benny’s.