Uncover Marks & Spencer’s history at Marks in Time

Leeds, West Yorkshire

The story of renowned retailer Marks & Spencer is an intriguing peek into the changing lifestyles and social history of British people.

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By charting the development of one of the country’s best-loved high street stores Marks in Time offers a quirky perspective on the everyday lives of British people. These days there is a Marks & Spencer in nearly every town but it all started in Leeds in 1884 when Michael Marks opened his very first stall in Kirkgate market. 

Start your journey through the history of ‘Marks & Sparks’, as Brits affectionately like to call it, at this very location before making your way to the free permanent exhibition in the Michael Marks Building at Leeds University. This building houses the company's archive collection including photographs, films, clothing and food packaging; it all adds up to a rather remarkable story. 

Leeds is easily accessible from London by train; the journey is around 2 hours 30 minutes.

Content provided by Leeds and Partners

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MMarks & Spencer stall in Kirkgate Market, Leeds © The Marks & Spencer Company Archive
LLeeds Cross Arcade and original Marks & Spencer outlet © The Marks & Spencer Company Archive
MMarks In Time exhibition © The Marks & Spencer Company Archive
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