Stafford isn’t particularly a town you’d associate with putting shopping on the map. Cute tea rooms and charity shops, sure, but since top names such as Topshop, Wallis and Evans began to close at Guildhall Shopping Centre, Stafford has lacked in places for Saturday afternoon splurging before heading to The Swan for a couple of post credit card abuse cocktails or a bite to eat. Talk of a new retail park opening in Stafford spread like wild fire, especially when the list of retailers was announced.
The Riverside Retail Park officially opened up on the 4th August with stores from New Look & River Island welcoming customers and retail giant Marks & Spencer celebrated their opening on the 18th August by toasting prosecco and personal style sessions with customers.
Once a shop that I associated with my nan and stretchy skirts, Marks & Spencers is somewhat of a high street institution. Fashion wise, M&S have come into their own in previous years with their timeless range of womenswear and their addition of beauty halls across the majority of stores. The Archive collaboration with Alexa Chung which saw classic prints & designs from the Marks & Sparks archive be redesigned to entice a new generation of customers through the doors. This collection certainly put M&S on the map for the fashion-conscious twenty something girl and it quickly went from being a store that I’d nip into for a sarnie and some shortbread to a go to for fashion and beauty.
The new 44,000 sq. ft. shop at Stafford Riverside Shopping Centre is double the size of the former M&S store on Gaolgate Street, and has a significantly increased choice of womenswear, menswear, kidswear and homeware and of course, their brand spanking new beauty hall.
Marks & Spencers was never a store I’d associate with beauty, Selfridges it was NOT, but the introduction of their gleaming beauty halls along with brands such as Nuxe, Alpha H, Emma Hardie, Ren, Diego Dalla Palma, Pixi and Stila have placed an unassuming high street store alongside the beauty big hitters such as Debenhams, House of Fraser and John Lewis.
M&S kindly gifted me with a £50 voucher to pick up some new pieces from the new store for the impending autumn season and I was spoiled for choice. My gut told me to dash to the beauty hall and stock up on Pixi Glow Tonic but my eyes instantly fell in love with the knot detail shopper bag from the M&S collection in the perfect autumnal khaki green which is ideal for throwing everything but the kitchen sink in. It also has a detachable pouch inside for any items you don’t want to be fishing around the bottom of the bag for. I also had to have this floral long sleeve shirt in green/yellow and amber against a cream background from the Per Una range. I love long sleeved shirts for the autumn as they’re the ideal layering item. I’ve been wearing this over jeans and leggings at the moment because the weather is still quite humid (but dull), come the nippy autumn months though I’ll be chucking this under a pinafore dress, a cropped jumper or chunky knit.
See my favourite autumn and transitional pieces from the new in section from M&S below. How beautiful is that patchwork dress?
/ / / / / / / / / / /