UK retailer Marks and Spencer said that the development and modernisation of its stores in 2010 will remain “key”.

The firm, which earlier this year saw like-for-like sales rise 0.8% during the 13 weeks to 26 December, is reported to be looking to “step up the pace” of its store modernisation programme.

Marks and Spencer currently has around 315 stores in 41 countries.

A spokesperson for the retailer told just-food: “Store modernisation and development continues to be key for M&S, as we strive to boost efficiency and increase customer experience in our stores.

“The vast majority of our stores have received significant investment over the last few years and our modernisation programme continues at pace with a number of notable recent remodels including Leeds, Liverpool and Weston-super-Mare,” the spokesperson said.

Marks and Spencer will see Marc Bolland, the former chief executive of UK grocer Morrisons, officially take the helm on 1 May.

The Dutchman agreed to take the top job at M&S in November but was in discussions with Morrisons over a departure date.