A NEW M&S store has opened at the Countess of Chester Hospital today (Tuesday, May 21).

The hospital has repurposed an office space to install the new 1000 sq. ft. store which aims to enhance the experience of visitors, patients, and staff on site.

It is the latest expansion in the Trust’s 10-year partnership with Compass Group UK & Ireland’s One Retail, which has also seen the opening of a Costa coffee shop at the hospitals main entrance in 2021.

The M&S store features self-service kiosk alongside hosts, with a range of products including a deli selection, hot and cold drinks, fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as food to go and food for later options.

Chester and District Standard: Percy Pig visits the Countess of Chester Hospital.Percy Pig visits the Countess of Chester Hospital. (Image: Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust)

The unit is dressed in traditional M&S Food deep green, with illustrations of Chester landmarks like the bandstand at The Groves, the Cathedral and Queen’s Park Bridge.

Creating new jobs for around 20 staff, the store will be open seven days a week from 7am-8pm, and includes a click and collect facility for customers.

Cutting the ribbon to mark the opening of the new store were members of the Trust’s executive team, staff from Compass and M&S’ very own Percy Pig, who also visited the children’s ward to give out his famous sweets to patients.

Karen Edge, the Trust's Chief Financial Officer, said:

“We are thrilled to see Marks & Spencer open its doors inside the Countess of Chester Hospital.

“Making sure our patients, families and visitors have more choice is very important to us and this new store will provide more food and drink options for them.

“Being able to conveniently access high quality food and drink is a key part of our approach to the experience our patients and their families have whilst they are in our hospital.”

Andy Jones, Managing Director of One Retail, part of Compass Group UK & Ireland added:

“It is great to see the M&S open at the hospital. Our partnership with the Countess of Chester Hospital has ensured the widening of their retail offer and enhancing the use of tech.

“I am sure staff, visitors and patients will enjoy the improved choice available.”