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Marks & Spencer plans a return to Amsterdam, says Distrifood

Friday 04 January 2013

British department store group Marks & Spencer is returning to the Netherlands and is planning to set up shop in Amsterdam’s Kalverstraat, retail magazine Distrifood reports on Friday.

British institution M&S pulled out of the Netherlands some 10 years ago, closing stores in the Kalverstraat and in The Hague, when it left the European mainland.

Distrifood says the Amsterdam store will be a ‘flagship’ operation, selling food and clothing through an 'e-boutique'. The magazine bases its claim on industry sources and job vacancies currently being advertised by the Randstad employment agency.


Rumours about M&S’s return to both Amsterdam and The Hague were circulating prior to the Christmas break, when the company declined to comment.

The company's current boss, Mark Bolland, is a Dutch national. At the end of 2010, Bolland told Dutch business magazine FEM a return to the Netherlands could be on the cards.

‘That cannot be ruled out. We are looking at all foreign markets. But it will not happen on emotional grounds, simply because I am Dutch,’ Mark Bolland told the magazine.

Would you like to see M&S return to Amsterdam? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

I would prefer to see Waitrose, Sainsbury's or Tesco give Albert Heijn a run for their money and show the Dutch whatchoice means. There is an interesting article on TheHague.com (http://www.denhaag.nl/en/residents/to/Top-chains-targeting-The-Hague.htm) which seems to confirm the rumours. Demolitions are taking place and new premises being built....so watch this space!

By Hague Guy | 4 January 2013 4:07 PM

Hoorah! Bangers steak and kidney pie, cheddar, clotted cream - yum!

By woods | 4 January 2013 4:16 PM

M&S are coming to Den Haag in 2014 - their new store is currently being constructed in De Markies building, opposite De Bienkorf in Centrum. This is no rumour but is fact!

By Owen Langdale | 4 January 2013 4:21 PM

Please, let it be true!

By Russell | 4 January 2013 4:24 PM

This will be awesome! I actually live in Canada but visit Holland at least once per year, M&S left Canada over 10 years ago and it was a sad day... At least now I can get my M&S food fix when I visit Amsterdam!

By Roy | 4 January 2013 4:38 PM

Being fluent in Dutch & English & in possession of warehouse papers I was offered a job with M&S (Food dept.) many years ago. I decided not to bother seeing as I could earn the same wages in my local area, why travel 2 hours for the same?

M&S have some good quality products, but their prices are still too high to warrant a M&S shopping trip to the capital..

By The visitor | 4 January 2013 4:39 PM

I think its great news.I miss M&S ,although I will probably be shopping on line,as I live in Zeeland

By V .Wrench | 4 January 2013 4:50 PM

I will be looking forward to the company return to the Kingdom.

I would browse through out the store when it was here. Enjoyed the mens clothes.

By joe | 4 January 2013 5:03 PM

I would be over the moon to have M&S in town.
It's one of the main things I miss from London

By Amsterdampaul | 4 January 2013 5:10 PM

YES YES YES bring it over... we need something like M&S in Amsterdam :-)

By Lincoloooon Loggggs | 4 January 2013 5:11 PM

I for one would welcome a return of M&S to the Netherlands. I hope the rumours are true!

By Mike Garrett | 4 January 2013 5:15 PM

Please bring M&S back and bring it to Groningen also!

By Ros Gibson | 4 January 2013 5:42 PM

Hallelujah!! That news makes me grin from ear to ear like a fat Cheshire cat...truly great, truly British!

By Lucie Mayer-Aull | 4 January 2013 5:47 PM

The Dutch supermarkets have improved a lot in the last 10 years, but still haven't caught up to the English.
M+S had a fabulous range of ready meals, I really missd their Indian food line when they pulled out of Amsterdam.

By Mark Holden | 4 January 2013 6:09 PM

Great for Amsterdam but what about The Hague?? We really need it back!

By Sally | 4 January 2013 6:26 PM

Well maybe if they dont mark up the prices by %200/300 this time they might stay a little longer this time.
But a tesco,asda or a sainsbury would be welcome as well

By the cowboy | 4 January 2013 7:05 PM

Seriously people, send some of those stores/chains over to the east! Amsterdam has enough diversity as it is and one can't travel all the way there every time they decide to take a break from the monotony of Twente!

By Lena | 4 January 2013 8:20 PM

From what I remember from M&S was that it was an extremely elite expensive store. No idea why we need it here...

By Pee-Tor | 4 January 2013 9:09 PM

I hope so. I loved going there in the past when it was in Amsterdam.!

By Silver surfer | 5 January 2013 7:12 AM

My heart used to beat faster when I saw the green M&S sign, how sad is that? It was the roast chicken pie that did it!

By Chezzie | 5 January 2013 8:26 AM

@ Pee-Tor, I shop regularly at M&S when I'm back in the UK. I've never regarded them as elitist.
Perhaps you regard good quality products & a wide & imaginative range of goods in the food hall as elitist!
They're simply a high street store like any other.
My neighbour looks forward every year to the M&S Christmas cake I bring back with me.

By Donaugh | 5 January 2013 10:21 AM

I would not raise my hopes too much, as a Briton living in Amsterdam the quality of M&S clothes is much lower now.

By Liberal | 5 January 2013 10:35 AM

I'm not from the UK but have been many many times. I've become a M&S addict. Not so much on the retail but on the food. I too kind of freak out when I see the green sign because I know something yummy is right inside. Where do I return my Albert Heijn bonus card?

By TomKat | 5 January 2013 11:20 AM

Lovely! I remember M&S when it was in Montreal years ago...had THE best undies! Will be chuffed if it comes back to the NL...but PLEASE, also in Groningen!

By Suz | 5 January 2013 11:59 AM

As a great fan of the Simply Food stores from M&S, I am very pleased to hear this news. After moving to the Netherlands, soon after their stores closed here, I was so disappointed in the Dutch supermarkets with their lack of choice and quality goods I was in complete despair and ended up getting quite depressed over it. Although the Dutch supermarkets have since improved over the years, they still can't seem to come up anywhere near as good as anything I find from the UK. For some reason, they seem to completely lack any imagination, innovation or vision when it comes to supermarkets. They still seem to be around 20 years behind anything I remember from the UK!

By fortuner | 5 January 2013 1:28 PM

Yes, bring M&S to Holland and show them an example of how stores should be compared to how filthy Albert Heijn and other stores are with extremely rude staff.

By Masha | 5 January 2013 2:30 PM

Love their food, take away, ready meals and grocery departments. They really do an excellent job in those areas. Clothes wise......not so much. It is a bit conservative for my tastes. But it is a very welcome addition to the Dutch retail scene.

By M Gerard | 5 January 2013 4:02 PM

I used to work in M&S as a late teen when I lived in the UK and yes it is a little bit elitist (the food hall anyway)! It's not an Asda or a Tesco. But I don't really care if it means I can get a few home comforts. I would love to see Tesco waltz in here though and set up some real big stores with real choice and kick the butts of AH and co.

By bobbianderson | 5 January 2013 4:39 PM

M&S must come up with better trousers next time they open in the Netherlands. The trousers were awfull, still old fashioned, bag old colonial style. My wife would welcome their return, she always loved their bras.

By Jeremy | 5 January 2013 4:50 PM

Dutch supermarkets suck compared to British and French. A Tesco or Carrefour would be welcome here in the east. Would be better than Jan bloody Linders.

By @CluthaDubh | 5 January 2013 7:37 PM

Yipee!! Mince pies at Christmas and cherry genoa cake!! Lets not forget the selective range of vegeterian foods that M&S offers!

By joanne | 5 January 2013 9:38 PM

Now if only the supermarkets would follow! That would be a day to celebrate!

By Consumer | 6 January 2013 12:35 AM

It will be wonderful to be able to buy pork pies again, as well as affordable cheddar (alarmingly expensive if you can find it here). Totally agree that some other chains should move here. The lack of decent choice (never mind decent food) in Dutch supermarkets needs some serious competition. Morrison's take note please!

By Mike | 6 January 2013 1:59 PM

Has anyone in M&S read all these comments? What are they waiting for?

By r.dixon | 6 January 2013 6:41 PM

Indeed Suz, undies! The wonderful, wonderful minimizer bra's, the thermal wear, the shoes and the the ' short' sizes. And the food, the smell and the great staff. Kick out all the noisy shops from the Kalverstraat now!

By Lou | 6 January 2013 6:55 PM

More choice would be great. I do think British supermarkets seem to offer more choice than Dutch supermarkets.

By Andrew Pyrah | 6 January 2013 8:27 PM

I'd bet that they won't have the full range of products they have in the UK because Dutch consumers "don't need so much choice" and they won't consume products that haven't been drilled into their collective consciousness with decades of marketing campaigns. Also, M&S = not bland enough for local culinary inclinations.

By Gretchen | 7 January 2013 12:09 AM

Hooray! Decent bangers again! Come on Sainsbury's... I need you!

By Allan | 7 January 2013 8:59 AM

Bad news this,very bad.

The amount of money I'll spend in there on scoff will seriously dent the finances.

By Jimmy | 7 January 2013 10:15 AM

For those Dutch reading this and trying to understand: M&S is the equivalent of your HEMA, good quality products at a reasonable price.

The big difference is the quality is even higher.

I welcome the return of M&S, would love to see a Tesco/Sainsbury/Waitrose show up.

For those trying to find the expat products, try your local Expat shop, there's one in Leiden, Wassenaar, Scheveningen, and bound to be one in Amsterdam. They will be expensive, but then all non-standard items are.

By H. | 7 January 2013 11:10 AM

Thank you H. for explaining to us stupid Dutch what M&S is and how superior the British products are.

By pepe | 7 January 2013 12:21 PM

Yes please!
Cumberland sausages are very tasty... my braai needs them asap!
(the ratio of bread to meat is just right - rather than a solid bit of meat as we get here)
@Marks&Spencer -> whilst you are at it, some boerewors too please!

By Expatio | 7 January 2013 12:31 PM

I cannot believe the number of people wanting the dreaded Tesco to invade these shores. Choice might be limited and of Dutch taste here (why not, we're living in their country) but I'd rather that than have the abomination which is Tesco anywhere near! M&S does have nice food (clothes not as good as they used to be) but is out of my budget range. If I'm ever passing I will of course have to succumb to the call of prawn mayo sandwich.

By Rita | 7 January 2013 2:25 PM

Welcome Back Marks and Spencer, I used to be an avant shopper, still am when I visit the U.K., but now I can spoil myself again anytime of the year, thanks!

By Michelle | 7 January 2013 3:34 PM

There are loads of Tescos all over Central Europe, as well as China and Turkey. Are AH and co somehow managing to keep them out? No, surely not...

By woods | 7 January 2013 4:38 PM

I don't know from M&S but I'm happy just the same that they are coming as it's an indicator of better economic times ahead whenever retail sees opportunity for expansion.

By Quince | 7 January 2013 4:45 PM

What you have to take into account is the fact that the Dutch supermarkets are run along the lines of a cartel system. Competitive pricing, quality, and choice is not on offer at all. The Dutch are so used to being manipulated by cartels that they accept their lot, and Brits for instance, would not tolerate the crap that they put on the shelves here, and it is crap. This goes for retail stores, big mark up, poor quality, Primark, would be considered upmarket. I must admit, these are the things that I miss most living here, it is irritating to constantly feel that you are being short-changed, with prices increasing since 2008? No deflation allowed for the Dutch consumer?

By Highlander | 7 January 2013 5:00 PM

Can't wait for the food department to come back, but I hope they have a complete selection. Even better would be Waitrose or Tesco.

By Patricia Tetteroo | 7 January 2013 6:34 PM

I reckon Highlander has got it nailed (see my previous comment)

By woods | 7 January 2013 7:41 PM

Oh so happy to hear this news. It was a sad day when M&S left Amsterdam 10 years ago. I have had to get their teabags sent over ever since I cannot live without them. It will be amazing to be able to buy them here again and all the other wonderful M&S food products. Hooray!!!!!!!!

By tulip | 7 January 2013 8:17 PM

I think Marks & Spencer might adapt their format somehow to the Dutch 'shopping-habits'. I mean, HEMA is getting more and more international. But some of the HEMA-products you can always buy in Holland, are not sold by HEMA in Belgium (simply because the Belgians don't like them, or e.g. they always by them elsewhere, e.g. local shops). In each country where HEMA operates, they adapt their formula to the 'shopping-habits' of the respective country. This is something what M&S also might do.

By Jeroen | 7 January 2013 10:03 PM

how long will it stay this time in holland?
with this question in my mind i would not visit it too often as the pain of leaving holland again will makes it worse!

By john sargent | 7 January 2013 11:26 PM

@pepe: you're most welcome. I wasn't implying that the dutch quality was poor, just that M&S quality was just that bit higher. A bit like the quality you'd expect from Hema is higher than Zeeman. You should be more Dutch in your attitude and grow a thicker skin.

By H. | 8 January 2013 8:41 AM

Best New Year news YET. Have missed M&S SO much, decent food & decent under wear..can't wait.

By Highlander | 8 January 2013 1:22 PM

@H. I would say that Hema is more on a par with British Home Stores. Personally, I prefer to shop in my local market where the stall holders help me improve my Dutch.

By Darren | 8 January 2013 2:12 PM

@H It really makes me cringe when I read comments like yours from a fellow Brit. I thought the days when we spoke to locals as if they were heathen savages disappeared years ago.

By From the UK | 8 January 2013 2:22 PM

Oh, my day is complete. The thought of aromatic crispy duck for dinner on Saturday evening has got my taste buds dancing, happy new year everyone!

By Patty | 8 January 2013 4:10 PM

Please bring M&S back...

By Özlem Aydın | 9 January 2013 11:44 AM

I AM one of those" heathen savages" , but would love to see M&S back - mainly for the food. Love English supermarkets, even Tesco's

By lisa | 9 January 2013 6:32 PM

glad tidings
would prefer the hague first .
looking forward to indian savoury and british sweets

By caro | 10 January 2013 2:19 AM

Oh dear....people reading between the lines too much and bunching up their knickers...

To those who took offence: The comparison with HEMA was due entirely to the cultural significance of the shop. If you wonder why I selected HEMA, then see: http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2011/11/hema_tops_essential_dutch_bran.php

And as to why the comparison was made, many "heathen savage" or non British friends were amazed at the emotive ex-pat response to the news. When M&S was compared to HEMA, they understood.

And if you want British culturally significant produce, the local ex-pat shops are still strongly recommended.

By H. | 10 January 2013 11:35 AM

At last been waiting years for this

By david glen | 12 January 2013 4:28 PM

I agree with most people.. Great to see it return but i hope M&S research does a better job, not only concentrate on Amsterdam.. the North East has many brits

By Gary Witham | 14 January 2013 9:30 AM

@ H "For those Dutch reading this and trying to understand: M&S is the equivalent of your HEMA, good quality products at a reasonable price." It was the way you said it rather than what you said. Anyway, HEMA is more like BHS. Low quality at high prices.

By From the UK | 16 January 2013 4:06 PM

When they re-open M@S, I shall peronally dress up and celebrate, smiling as I walk through the doors of a world-favorite store. I almost cried when they left 10 years ago. Wonderful food, good selection, (the only thing that was missing were toilet facilities (I was told to go across to MacDonald's!!)

And, if we could get a Tesco, Asda, or WalMart, my last years on this earth would be complete. We have Ikea, German markets such as Lidl and Aldi, which have wide aisles, open check-outs as soon as there are 3 people in a line (in my local AH the single line is backed up to Belgium), plus low prices and wonderful selection. See you soon, M&S!

By Joannerf | 20 January 2013 5:21 PM

Please! Let it come! As i am often in London, always get a lot of stuff there to take home, i live in Antwerp, hopefully it will come back there to!! But Amsterdam will be fine to, not only food, the women's cloths are so good, trousers on length! Best store ever!!

By marion | 20 January 2013 7:32 PM

Great news, I live in Nijmegen and used to make the trip to Amsterdam often, and will do again now. Although it would be great to have a M&S nearer.

By Alba. | 23 January 2013 8:24 PM

Everyone was sad to see M&S go - The Dutch as much as the British... and as happy to hear they're coming back.
But please Hague guy- no Tesco, Walmart-type practices here! Find out a little about the practices you're supporting by shopping at Tescos. Co-op and Waitrose are ethically the top two according to The Good Shopping Guide.

By Justina | 5 February 2013 4:44 PM

Great news, when I lived in the Netherlands I used to shop there regularly. I now live in UK and have noticed ingredients on their own brand food is now also in dutch.

By Robbie23 | 27 February 2013 9:02 AM

Lets be fair to the Dutch. I think people are more able to appreciate paying for quality and are more adventurous in daily tastes. Still price will always be a tough area. I can't wait :-)

By MJB | 2 March 2013 1:50 AM

I agree with Marsha -Really hope they come to The Hague- but a word of advise- please train the staff up to M&S UK standard and not Albert Heijn standard-who treat the customer as nothing but a nuisance-(a few are ok but in the main really poor employees with bad atitude-sorry but sadly true!)

By SJH | 4 March 2013 2:15 PM

hi... Could you tell me the reasons why M&S left the Netherlands 10 years ago. ?? I will appreciate it if someone could do it. I need this information for my project or perhaps you have some articles for me. Thanks in advance

By Fareshta | 17 March 2013 11:28 AM

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