Marks and Spencer extend Christmas opening hours and introduce new queuing system

Marks and Spencer announce their Christmas food catalogue

Marks and Spencer, along with other many stores, have extended its stores’ opening times to help customers shop when it is quieter. M&S’ Food Hall also has a new way of queuing. 

Announcing the news on its Instagram page, the retailer posted a series of photos explaining the new opening times.

The post read: “We’ve extended the opening hours of hundreds of our stores to help you shop when it’s convenient and safe for you, with many open from 6AM to MIDNIGHT.

“Head to our store checker online to find your local store’s new festive hours.”

For those areas in tiers where non-essential shops are closed including M&S’ clothing section, their food halls remain open.

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When is the quietest time to shop in an M&S Food Hall?

According to Google data, the best time to shop is in the morning before 12pm or after 4pm on a weekday.

Visiting on the weekend could be the busiest time and there may be queues outside.

The retailer also explained that there is a new queuing system in place for shoppers.

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In a bid to help reduce the queue outside of the supermarket, customers can use the Sparks Book & Shop service.

The Instagram post continued: “Our Sparks Book & Shop service allows customers to reserve a shopping slot at a time that suits them and removes the need to queue outside.”

The system aims to help reduce queues while still maintaining a safe shopping environment for customers.

It is available at participating stores across the UK.

A statement on its website says: “We have now released Book & Shop slots across all our stores for dates between the December 14-21 and a limited number of slots during peak shopping hours on December 22-23.

“Booking secures entry for one person per household each day.”

The retailer is also encouraging shoppers to shop alone this Christmas to help customers stay a safe distance from one another in-store.

The Instagram post added: “Please shop alone where you can and help us make shopping quicker, easier and safer for everyone this Christmas.”

Customers can also use the Mobile Pay Go app where they can check out completely contact-free.

This also means they can skip the checkout and queue if there is one.

M&S Retail operations and property director Sacha Berendji said: “Our store teams have been incredible throughout this time, and this Christmas season they’re stepping up again to keep everyone safe, and to help keep Christmas special.

“After this year, we know customers want to deliver the magic for their loved ones – from the food they love to the perfect thoughtful gift – so we want to play our part to make shopping easier.

“This Christmas, in addition to our extensive hygiene measures, we’re offering our longest-ever opening hours and important new services like ‘Sparks Book and Shop’, whilst still delivering the festive feeling and inspiration customers are after in our shops.”

In other food news, Marks and Spencer is also offering a Roast Turkey Meal for One this year.

It is priced at just £5 and Ocado said that the ready meal consists of “British turkey with a golden Yorkshire pudding, a rich gravy, pigs in blankets and veg.”

The meal can be cooked in 35 minutes and has been out of stock on the website ever since its launch.

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