Meet the women set to lead new Marks and Spencer in Lakeside

Business / Thu 14th Sep 2023 at 11:13am

MARKS and Spencer has announced the appointment of Dior Hudson to lead the opening of its brand-new store in Essex’s Lakeside shopping centre later this year. Dior will oversee the work between now and later this year to get the new store ready to open to the public. 

The new store will recruit new team members to join the existing M&S colleagues who will transfer to work in the new store. This year marks Dior’s tenth year of service at M&S, starting out at the company on the Retail graduate scheme after leaving university and working in a variety of stores across London and the South East. This is Dior’s second large store opening following the successful launch of M&S Stevenage last year.

Dior Hudson said; “Having the opportunity to open my first major large store last year in Stevenage was a huge milestone in my career at M&S. It’s always a steep but really rewarding learning curve when you do a job like that for the first time. Looking back, it really is the proudest moment of my life so far and I can’t wait to get everything ready for our fantastic new store in Lakeside.

“The key to the whole thing is having an amazing team around you, and my team in Lakeside have already been working so hard to make sure everything is perfect for our customers.”

Last year, M&S launched a new Worklife scheme, a flexible working offering which gives retail managers the option to choose to work a four-day compressed week or a nine-day compressed fortnight.

The industry-leading offering for Retail Managers, which Dior has been able to benefit from in her busy role as a Store Manager, is designed to help M&S colleagues achieve a better work/life balance, as well as helping M&S continue attracting great people who may not realise that these types of flexible options are available in a career in store management.

Dior said; “”Opening the new store in Lakeside will be a new, exciting challenge and it’s really great that this time, there’s five other store managers across the country to go on this journey with me. It’s great to have that support system and be able to learn from each other’s experiences as every store is different and has its own challenges and rewards.”

Dior is part of a group of six women leading M&S’s five biggest new store openings in 2023, with each member of the formidable, all-female team running stores in three of the country’s most popular shopping centres – Manchester’s Trafford Centre, Leeds White Rose (Justine Brook) and the Lakeside Centre in Essex (Dior Hudson) – and in the key city centre sites of Birmingham Bullring (Emily King and Naomi Hartley) and Liverpool ONE shopping centre (Kirsty Williams).

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