New M&S Food shops planned across the south west of England

Channel Islands-based retailer Sandpiper will open new M&S Food stores in the South West of England next Spring. Credit: PA

New Marks & Spencer food stores are due to open across the South West of England by next Spring, under a new franchise agreement.

The Channel Islands' largest retailer, Sandpiper, will operate the new M&S Food outlets - which it says will be up and running across the region early next year.

Work is underway to identify potential sites for new M&S Food stores "in towns and cities across the southwest of England", according to the company.

Sandpiper opened its first Marks & Spencer store in Jersey in 1967, going on to also operate franchises in the Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Gibraltar for big-name brands like Burger King, Costa Coffee, Matalan and Morrisons.

Tony O'Neill, Sandpiper's chairman, says the deal is the next step in a longstanding business partnership with Marks & Spencer:

"We have worked closely with M&S over the last 15 years to build a strong and highly successful M&S franchise business in Jersey.

"Our M&S store teams consistently deliver service and standards of the highest order, and we are naturally delighted to have the opportunity to widen our partnership with Marks and Spencer Group plc by developing stores in the UK."

Sandpiper has operated Marks & Spencer's stores in Jersey. Credit: ITV Channel Television

The agreement marks the first time Sandpiper has operated in the United Kingdom.

The company has taken on a new director to oversee its upcoming operations in the south west.