Not just a department store ... it's a major revamp for M&S in Derby's Westfield
A DEPARTMENT store in Derby's Westfield shopping centre has completed a major revamp, resulting in 30 temporary workers having their contracts extended.
The Marks and Spencer store has been refitted and new departments have been added, which will be manned by some of the staff who were recruited before Christmas.
Yesterday, Mayor of Derby Councillor Lisa Higginbottom visited the store to officially unveil its new look.
Among the additions is a Home department, selling a range of furniture and a beauty department.
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The store is also utilising technology to improve the shopping experience. It has installed an online ordering system, which allows staff to take orders without using the checkout desks.
The Home department also features "touch and feel" walls to help the customer decide on items such as pillows and duvets.
The work, the cost of which has not been disclosed, is part of the retailer's plan to become more customer- focused.
Commercial manager Aftab Kapasi said: "The aim of the refit was to make navigation around the store easier, defining our products better, giving our brands identity and making the overall shopping experience better.
"I'm delighted with the finished result, which we think looks amazing.
"Overall, at a time when there is a lot of doom and gloom on the high street, we feel this investment in the store and staff is a positive move."
The Westfield Derby store was one of 50 in the 600-strong chain to be selected by the company to pilot the "In Touch" concept, which aims to improve the overall customer experience.
The firm is doing this by employing more staff to work on the shop floor, while at the same time revamping its outlets to make them more customer-friendly.
As reported in the Derby Telegraph in October, M&S took on an additional 30 temporary staff to work over the festive period.
At the time, M&S said there was a possibility that many of the 30 new recruits could have their roles made permanent.
For the time being, those staff have had their contracts extended.