Philip Green to rescue of M&S

Philip Green, the controversial former head of discount retailer Amber Day, has charged to the rescue of Marks and Spencer, whose Manchester store was devastated in last month's IRA bomb attack.

The irrepressible Mr Green is turning over 90,000 square feet of space on three floors of his Lewis's department store in the city to M&S.

Britain's biggest retailer is still counting the cost of the damage, which runs into millions and likely to mean the total rebuilding of one of its flagship stores. The move, however, swiftly restores a presence in the UK's fourth largest city that dates back over a century.

"It's brilliant. It's very different for us, but after three weeks we've been able to find prime retail space," said an M&S spokeswoman.

"There's a tremendous feeling in the city. It's like the spirit of wartime. We're not going to take the bomb lying down. We've been in Manchester since 1894."

The flamboyant Mr Green is no stranger to comebacks himself. Ousted by institutions in 1992 from Amber Day after a profits setback, he bounced back the following May, using his pounds 1.1m pay-off and the sale of his Amber Day stake to buy Parker & Franks, a struggling chain of 54 shops selling cut-price clothes and gifts in the North of England.

His return to the big-time, however, came with the purchase of Owen & Owen early last year. Founded in 1868, and older than M&S, the firm counts five Lewis's stores among its 13 department stores, and Mr Green set about changing a negelected format that had lost its way.

Late last year he added Sears' Olympus sports chain in a pounds 25m deal that brought 200 shops and concessions.

Women's fashion chain Mark One followed this February, adding 95 shops to a burgeoning Manchester-based empire of nearly 400 shops with sales understood to be running at around pounds 500m a year.

"We all have a commitment to bringing Manchester back to life, and I am delighted to welcome M&S," he said last week.

"By sharing the available space in the Lewis's store, the focus for quality shopping will remain in the city centre."

M&S will re-open there in late Autumn and has also taken 15,000 square feet from the Co-Operative Insurance Society at Spring Gardens in the city.

It will sell clothes, furnishings and gifts from Lewis's and food from the Co-op site.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
newsAnother week, another dress controversy on the internet
Life and Style
Scientist have developed a test which predicts whether you'll live for another ten years
health
Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Advisor is r...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

SThree: HR Benefits Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn