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Marks and Spencers opens 1894

Michael Marks and Thomas Spencer open the first of their ‘Penny Bazaars’, at Cheetham Hill, Manchester.

Marks arrived in Britain from Poland, penniless, illiterate and did not speak English. Spencer befriended him and lent him £5, which he used to start selling from market stalls.

Their stores sold a range of household goods ‘don’t ask the price, everythings a penny’.

The stores became a favourite amongst the working classes.

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