Pupils from Fishbourne Primary School were lucky enough to get a look behind the scenes at the new Marks and Spencer shop in Chichester – something the public will get to see only when it opens in the first week of November.
The retail giant has taken over the former Topshop store in North Street, which is adjacent to its second city premises.
The pair will become one at the beginning of next month in what marks a significant investment into the city and creates around 50 jobs.
Pupils from the school have been displaying their artwork on the shop frontage as part of a competition and they went along yesterday, clad in their high-visibility jackets and hard hats see how it is progressing.
Commercial manager for clothing at the store Matt Neely said: “It’s huge from a Chichester point of view.
“We are investing £13m in total to get everything done, and we are looking at probably 50 new jobs.
“There will be an additional 8,500sq ft of floor space.
“It is a really positive sign that Marks and Spencer are prepared to invest that much in the city, and in terms of keeping it one of the big three retailers here.
“It is something we have wanted to do for a long time.”
He said the ideal situation would be to have all three sites under one roof, but that is not a realistic prospect in the older city-centre buildings.
“It’s not a perfect situation,” he said. “But there not a premises on the high street big enough that would be suitable.”
Meanwhile the upgrade at the East Street store has gone well.
The first-floor coffee shop has been expanded and the ground floor rearranged.