Marks And Spencer

M&S Rochdale Riverside opens on Monday

The department store will open as planned today but only the foodhall will be trading and there will none of the usual ceremonial fanfare laid on for a new site, M&S said in a statement.

The clothing and home sections will open “when government guidelines allow.”

On its first day the store will open at 8.30am, and from then on the store will be open Monday to Saturday, from 8am to 6pm and on Sunday from 10.30am to 4.30pm.

The store will open the day after the existing M&S on Yorkshire Street closes on Sunday 5 April.

Simon Layton, M&S head of region for Lancashire and Cumbria, said: “Our new store at Rochdale Riverside will be open from Monday 6 April. The team has been working extremely hard to get the store ready to ensure we can offer locals everyday essentials and a wide range of fresh produce. We will also offer clothing and home products in the store, and these departments will open when government guidelines allow. In the meantime, we are focused on making sure our customers can get everything they need in our foodhall.

“In line with other M&S stores, to support the community we will have special opening hours in place for NHS and emergency services workers, as well as special hours for the elderly and vulnerable. Please visit M&S.com for the latest information and opening hours.”

In line with other M&S stores, the first hour of trading on certain days will be reserved for older and vulnerable customers, on Monday and Thursdays, and NHS and emergency services workers on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Car parking is available at the adjoined multi-storey car park, free of charge.

Developer Genr8 and investor Kajima have rescheduled the opening of the rest of the £80m shopping centre due to the virus. The 200,000 sq ft centre had been due to open on Friday 10 April.

Rochdale Riverside March 6

The shopping centre is being built by Willmott Dixon

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Not comfortable with shopping experience. Queue inside store 2m apart but very slow moving queue. As there is a one way system it appeared that it was not possible to leave the queue, without exiting through the entrance and consequently unable to keep social distance. Did not see trolleys being sanitised either at collection point or return point. Once in food hall there was no one way system and although there were plenty of labels on floor to show two metre distance, the actual food aisles were not wide enough for people to pass safely and as there was not a one way system people were travelling in opposite directions. I would have preferred to queue outside. At least I would be in open fresh air, I would also be able to leave the queue. Will not be returning.

By J Coxell