Shoppers in Egypt, rejoice! Marks & Spencer has opened its doors in Cairo, offering a selection of women’s and men’s wear, children’s clothing and household items.

Located on the ground floor of Dandy Mall just before the Cairo/Alex desert road gates, Marks &Spencer is the UK’s largest clothing retailer and one of the first major department store chains to venture into Egypt.

If you’re familiar with Marks & Spencer in London; be warned that the Cairo branch does not sell M&S food, furniture, gadgets or flowers and gifts. However, you will find an impressive collection of sleepwear, underwear and practical office wear; staples traditionally associated with M&S. 

As is customary with many M&S stores, the women’s collection is definitely larger than the men’s wear. Judging by the available selection of comfortable, practical office and casual wear, M&S’s target female customer is the mature business woman that is more concerned with comfort than with trends.

The M&S line Autograph is heavily displayed and includes a solid selection of black trousers in straight leg, bootleg and wide leg cuts for between 275LE and 350LE. Colours are limited to black, grey and brown, with some fabrics bordering on comfortably stretchy, while three trouser lengths are available in short, medium and long.

Highlights include a silk-like cream long-sleeved, polyester shirt (450LE) and a green pencil dress with black stitching and a black belt (775LE). At the time of our visit, the women’s shoe collection was limited to a few shelves of practical, low-heeled leather shoes in black and brown, in sizes starting at 36; prices average around 625LE for a pair of Mary Janes.

The women’s bag and accessory selection is quite small, but includes a few interesting buys such as small satin clutches in purple, red or gold for only 90LE, while a black sequined Autograph clutch costs 450LE. Necklaces and bracelets are limited to colourful plastic pieces, while a few scarves can be found for around 220LE.

Located next to several racks of women’s sportswear including sweat-proof t-shirts and fleece jumpers (165LE), the women’s sleepwear collection includes fleece robes, camisoles and pyjama sets (625LE). A few slippers are available in sizes small, medium and large (which fits up to a size 44.5), in either woollen or fleece slippers (113LE), or even fleece booties.

The women’s lingerie collection is the most impressive section of M&S, including every type of bra from minimisers to full support and t-shirt bras. Sizes range from a 32B to 42C, which is very rare for a clothing shop in Cairo to have.  Briefs range from size UK8 to 22, with an average VPL priced at 90LE, a thigh slimmer at 316LE and a value pack of four cotton briefs at 125LE.

The children’s clothing section includes the Indigo Junior collection, the 0 to 2 collection and a Hello Kitty sleepwear selection as well as a few fancy party dresses for 5 to 14-year-old girls. A toddler's striped hoodie comes with matching woollen tights (250LE), while a boys’ underwear selection includes cute Manchester United and Sonic the Hedgehog boxers (125LE).

The men’s selection is limited to one corner of the shop, but it includes the M&S staples such as a set of three cotton boxers (275LE), a cotton pyjama set (315LE), and a pack of ten cotton socks for 175LE.

One shelf carries Blue Harbour jeans in regular or straight-legged cut and ranges in colours from stone-beige to black. The jeans are all priced at 215LE, part of M&S’s best value promotion found throughout the shop. This corner also includes a collection of formal suit jackets, ties and shirts as well as shoes by Collezione.

Right in the centre of M&S, you’ll find a few shelves of household accessories limited to chenille cushions (275LE); woollen throws in red, green and multicoloured print, and large towels (275LE) in grey, cream and purple. 

Room incense sprays, oils (35LE) and diffusers are available in fresh rose, vanilla and cut flowers, among others. Several other shelves carry the M&S range of hand and body lotions, perfumes, bath creams as well as shampoos in rose, lavender and magnolia. Several of these products are priced at a very reasonable 30LE.

Head to Marks& Spencer this week and make sure to check out their quality, practical clothing as well as their sweet-smelling home and body products.