M&S venture offers homes and lifestyle

Marks & Spencer is to offer products from self-build mortgages to own-branded running machines and other sports equipment when it opens its first Lifestore, in Gateshead in February.

Marks & Spencer is to offer products from self-build mortgages to own-branded running machines and other sports equipment when it opens its first Lifestore, in Gateshead in February.

The home furnishings concept store has been designed around a self-build house, which customers will be able to buy complete with furniture. The retailer’s financial arm is likely to offer self-build mortgages as a test before moving into the mainstream mortgage business.

The concept store will have nine key areas – rest, relax, renew, celebrate, cook, organise, play, escape and alfresco – in which furniture and other goods associated with the activity concerned will be located in room sets.

Michael Nash Associates has developed the visual identity for the store, including a white paper bag covered with black letter Ls – standing for Lifestore. Marks & Spencer’s in-house team has created packaging, which the company says illustrates not only the product but the action it performs.

Further Lifestores are to be opened in Kingston-upon-Thames next summer and Lakeside Thurrock in 2005 before a decision is made on whether to roll out the concept nationwide.

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