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M&S in mystery over opening

Newspapers say it is opening tomorrow while company refuses to "confirm or deny" plans for elite Paris street

MYSTERY surrounds the planned opening date for the new Marks & Spencer store on the Champs-Elysées in Paris.

Several leading French newspapers say that the 1,400sq.m shop on the capital's premier shopping street will open tomorrow. The speculation has been heightened as the company has already sent out invitations to a cocktail party and women's fashion show in the prestigious Champs-Elysées restaurant Le Fouquet's tonight.

However, senior corporate PR at M&S this morning said the speculation could not be "confirmed or denied" although the store will be open for Christmas.

The three-storey store is a key site on the world's most expensive shopping street that is renowned for its quality fashion stores - and away from the lure of the big department stores on the Boulevard Haussmann, site of the previous M&S store which shut 10 years ago along with 17 other stores across the country.

However, Paris shoppers keen to stock up on M&S food favourites are likely to be disappointed as there will only be a small amount of food in the store; just sandwiches and other favourites. As for clothes, it will mainly stock the leading women's lines such as Autograph, Limited and Per Una.

M&S has sites lined up for four further stores, including Simply Food branches.

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