Marks & Spencer celebrates centenary of first Scottish store opening in Dundee

An original M&S

MARKS & SPENCER is celebrating 100 years since serving its first Scottish customers.

The first branch of M&S north of the border began trading as a 900 square-foot penny bazaar in Dundee during the First World War.

It has since grown from that outlet on the city’s Murraygate to serve two million customers every week in Scotland, with 6,500 employees.

The first M&S in Scotland, 1918

A special tour, which kicks of later this month, will further celebrate the chain’s centenary while profiling partnerships with over 40 Scottish suppliers and 4,000 Scottish farms.

There’ll also be a chance to see archive photographs of local communities, and special Scottish-themed decor in stores.

M&S food hall aisles will be specially stocked with Scottish produce for the next two weeks.

David Bates, regional director for M&S in Scotland, said: “We are extremely proud that our roots in Scotland date back to the First World War.

“The fact we have lasted 100 years is down to the support of so many Scottish communities, from the amazing people who work for us to our loyal Scottish customers.

“Our uniforms, products and stores may have changed over time but our commitment to Scotland is as firm now as it was a century ago.”

A recent store opening in Oban (Iain Ferguson / The Write Image / M&S)

The M&S Centenary Taste Trail kicks off where it all began, in Dundee, on 28 September. The family-friendly ‘festival of food’ will offer free food tastings, live music, a demo kitchen and children’s play area.

A selection of M&S suppliers will showcase their quality Scottish produce and tell their farm to fork story, while people can ride ‘smoothie bikes’ to make smoothies from Scottish fruits and berries.

The Taste Trail will then hit the road for four months, culminating in a final celebration at M&S Glasgow Argyll Street, which will itself celebrate 100 years of trading in January 2019. The stops en route to Glasgow will be:

  • 28 September, Dundee
  • 6 October, Edinburgh
  • 20 October, Aberdeen
  • 3 November, Inverness
  • 26 January, Glasgow