M&S duo mark 50 years with the firm

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A LONG-SERVING pair of shop workers have been honoured after clocking up a combined 50 years of service with high street chain Marks & Spencer.

Janice Harrison, 48, and Jessie Chambers, 72, who have worked at the Princes Street branch of the famous store since 1989, celebrated with an exclusive champagne reception in London, where the Marks & Spencer Long Service Awards were held.

The prestigious prizes were well-deserved by the duo for their dedication and commitment.

Janice and Jessie were treated to a lavish celebration hosted by company chief executive Marc Bolland, with the staff present amassing an astonishing 2860 years of service between them.

Accompanied by their proud partners, Kevin Thomson and Alex Chambers, they were treated to a stay in a five-star hotel and took in a West End show during the all-expenses paid trip.

Leith-born Janice, food section manager, said: “It’s fantastic to mark my anniversary and share stories with so many other long-serving M&S colleagues from across the country.

“The trip to London was pure indulgence and a lovely way to celebrate 25 years.”

Nearly 100 employees marked 25 years with Marks & Spencer at the event, while 14 more celebrated 40 years with the retailer.

With the help of an exhibition set up by the company archive in Leeds, the guests were able to reminisce about their early days with M&S.

Janice, who now lives in Loanhead, described herself as a “people person” who enjoys socialising, walking her dog and trying new restaurants.

She said: “I may well go on to clock up 40 years of service. I certainly can’t see myself leaving. I love the pace of the job, the people I work with and the interaction with the public. Every day is different and I have made lifelong friends at M&S.”

Jessie, from Leith, said she was proud to have celebrated the 25-year landmark before her planned retirement next year.

She said: “I like to be busy and chat to customers, so the M&S food section has been a great place for me.

“I’m thinking about slowing down a bit though – I think at 72 I’ve done my bit. Spending time with my six grandchildren keeps me busy anyway.”

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.

“To be raising a glass and toasting more than a hundred long-serving 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 still central to everything we do at M&S.”