M&S is set to move into a former Debenhams unit this year as part of a £20million investment a popular Essex shopping centre.

Lakeside shopping centre, in Thurrock, is set to see M&S move from its current location to a new unit in the centre this year.

The new M&S store will be the unit where Debenhams previously was, and will look to open soon.

The relocation will increase the visibility of M&S in the centre, as well as from the surrounding road network.

It will also see the creation of a new, enlarged portal entrance from an upgraded car park, granting direct and improved access to the M&S Foodhall, as part of a £20million investment by Lakeside.

Steve Gray, Head of European Retail Asset Management at Global Mutual, said the new store will significantly increase M&S’ prominence within the shopping centre, as well as accessibility.

It is hoped both factors will increase footfall. 

According to Daily Mail, the new store is set to open in Winter 2023.

Once the move is complete, M&S’ former unit will also present another "compelling opportunity" for brands.

Announcing the news last year, Nick Pucci, regional manager at M&S, said: “We are really excited to be relocating to a new store at Lakeside.

“Whether you are looking for style inspiration in our Clothing and Home departments or great value, trusted quality M&S produce and family meal options in our new Foodhall, you will be able to choose from the very best of M&S in our refreshed new store."

M&S say the move comes as they continue its store estate transformation by making sure they have the right stores in the right locations for customers.