Lucena celebrates 25 years with M&S

Lucena and husband James enjoy some champagne. Picture: contributed
Lucena and husband James enjoy some champagne. Picture: contributed
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A LONG-standing Edinburgh Marks and Spencer worker has been toasted for 25 years of loyal service with the high-street fashion chain.

To mark her achievement, Lucena McManus – known as Lucy to friends and family – and her husband James were invited down to to the high street retailer’s headquarters in London by the company’s chief executive Mark Bolland, to enjoy canapés and a champagne reception.

The event was created as a ‘thank you’ to devoted employees and to honour them for their dedication to the well-known high street fashion store.

Born and raised in the Philipines, Lucy started working with Marks and Spencer in 1988, when fashion in the store mirrored something similar to what is showcased on catwalks today.

The 1990s style was beginning to develop – acid-wash jeans, cool denim jackets and sky-high shoulder pads filled the rails in womenswear, as the 80s were starting to fade out. It was out with the old and in with the new.

As Lucy witnessed the trends changing from season to season throughout the years, she embedded her name firmly within the Marks and Spencer team, and became a recgonised member of staff to all.

Lucy – who is also a volunteer at her local church – said: “I’ve always loved my job and so this trip to London was the real icing on the cake after 25 wonderful years.”

Aside from her job at M&S, Lucy spends her spare time playing crochet, cooking and socialising with friends.

This celebration – involving 108 other long-serving staff members – would not have been feasible without the help of an exhibiton set up by the company archive in Leeds, which allowed the staff to come together, share stories and above all, mark the occasion.

Sacha Berendji, M&S director of retail, said: “We’re incredibly proud of our loyal workforce and we always enjoy recognising and celebrating important milestones, like when our colleagues achieve 25 and 40 years’ service with M&S.

“To be raising a glass with well over a hundred staff this year is a real testament to the quality and dedication of our employees.

“Our stores have evolved significantly over the years, but good customer service is, and has always been, central to everything we do at M&S.”

Marks and Spencer said that long-serving staff members never go unnoticed.

A staggering 19,000 employees have celebrated 25 years’ service at Marks and Spencer, along with 1000 serving 40 years.

For the first time in 2012, two employees reached 50 years’ service at the company.

After the event, Lucy and her proud husband James were taken to a West End show in true London style.