One hundred years of trading in Watford High Street will be marked by Marks & Spencer with a special centenary event for customers and a trip down memory lane of the store’s history.
The store will mark its anniversary on Friday, March 14, with a special event, giving customers, as well as current and former employees, the chance to celebrate the milestone.
The store has lined up a range of activities and entertainment from food and drink tastings, to beauty demonstrations, performances from local musicians and face painting sessions.
Customers will also have the chance to hear more about the 130 year history of M&S, from its beginnings as a Penny Bazaar market stall to an international retailer, courtesy of the M&S Company Archive.
A pop-up Marks in Time exhibition will showcase M&S’ heritage, including imagery, documents and examples of products sold throughout the company’s history, as well as an early employee uniform. Some members of staff will also wear replica uniforms of those worn by employees in the Watford store in 1949.
Richard Allingham, Store Manager at M&S Watford, said: "We are really looking forward to welcoming Watford shoppers into store to celebrate this important milestone with us. "M&S Watford may have changed since we were a Penny Bazaar in 1914 but, as one of the longest standing retailers in the community, we’re very proud to have served Watford for 100 years.
"We’re hoping that members of the public with stories about the store and its history will also enjoy sharing them with us on the day."
The Watford store was one of the first to trade for six days a week in 1966 and, in 1957, employees provided a spring fashions talk for the Hemel Hempstead Ladies’ Circle and Young Wives Club, which attracted an audience of over 300 people. Staff member, Dawn Platt, even enjoyed local celebrity status in 1978 when she was crowned ‘Miss Superstore’ as part of Watford’s annual town show.
M&S Watford staff have also done their bit for charity over the years, including a parachute jump by store supervisor, Neville Webb, which contributed to the store raising £16,000 for the Balmoral Adult Training Centre.