We were appointed to prepare a retail planning strategy for an 8,000 sqm Marks & Spencer store in an out-of-centre location at Eclipse Park in Maidstone. The new format store will provide clothing and homeware, a full sized foodhall and café and full integration with online services.

Our Solutions

Following concerns raised regarding the impact an out-of-centre store might have on the town centre, our commission included a health check assessment of local town centres, a market share analysis of current resident shopping patterns (having commissioned a household telephone survey) and modelling of trade draw and diversion. This allowed us to calculate the cumulative impact of the proposed development, taking into account forecast population and spending projections.

This qualitative and quantitative assessment was reviewed by the Council’s external consultants and subsequently informed Officer’s recommendations for approval.

The Outcome

Planning permission was granted unanimously at Planning Committee and was the largest new M&S store to be opened in 2020.