M&S launched a £40m Lifestore outlet in Gateshead in an attempt to break into the homeware and furniture market.

Marks and Spencer

Source: Shutterstock/ Moomusician

The retailer said it hoped to roll out the brand across the UK as “the first step in achieving Marks & Spencer’s goal of becoming a leader in this market”.

But less than six months later, new chief executive Stuart Rose said M&S would sell the Lifestore concept. The Gateshead outlet was shut at a £29m loss in January 2005 and sold to Dutch retailer Ilva that July for £35m.