Marks & Spencer appoints Starcount to help enhance customer understanding and predict future buying behaviour

LONDON, 2018-Mar-09 — /EPR Retail News/ — Marks & Spencer today (06 February 2018) announces the appointment of data science company, Starcount, as part of its ongoing programme of change under its five-year transformation plans. The partnership will help enhance customer understanding and insight through personalisation of M&S’ loyalty and CRM programmes including M&S’s Sparks Card.

Sparks, which currently has over 6 million members, is a key tool for customer insight and engagement and central to helping M&S become a digital-first retailer. Starcount, led by Edwina Dunn and Clive Humby, will utilise its pioneering and innovative approach and technology to map out customer passions in order to predict future buying behaviour.

Starcount’s appointment follows a Marketing Team restructure last month to ensure that the team is more closely aligned to the strategic priorities of the business. Marketing and customer engagement play a significant part in M&S’ transformation ensuring it is faster, more commercial and acutely focused on our customers.

Rob Weston who was appointed Marketing Director, Brand & Customer as part of the restructure, said: “I am really looking forward to working with Starcount in my new role. Sparks plays a huge part in helping with our transformation and having the best partners will enable us to focus on achieving a seamless experience for our customers.”

Edwina Dunn, CEO, Starcount, said: “We are delighted to be working with M&S and partnering with them on predicting their customers’ wants and needs. Starcount’s expertise is the science of purchase and intent, understanding the ‘why’ behind M&S customer purchases to help deliver growth, profitability as well as a seamless customer experience.”

Notes to Editors:

Making M&S Special 

In November 2017 Marks & Spencer set out a transformation programme for the business concentrating on Restoring the Basics, Shaping the Future and Making M&S Special.

Under this transformation programme, Making M&S Special, M&S has to date announced:  

  • A slowdown in the Simply Food store opening programme
  • An acceleration of the UK store estate programme
  • The sale and franchise of its retail business in Hong Kong and Macau
  • A new Technology Transformation Programme
  • Improvements to its Clothing & Home Logistics Network
  • The restructure of the Customer, Marketing & Digital Team

For further information, please contact:

Corporate Press Office:
020 8718 1919

Source: Marks & Spencer

Marks & Spencer announces partnership with data science company, Starcount

LONDON, 2018-Feb-07 — /EPR Retail News/ — Marks & Spencer today (06 February 2018) announces the appointment of data science company, Starcount, as part of its ongoing programme of change under its five-year transformation plans. The partnership will help enhance customer understanding and insight through personalisation of M&S’ loyalty and CRM programmes including M&S’s Sparks Card.

Sparks, which currently has over 6 million members, is a key tool for customer insight and engagement and central to helping M&S become a digital-first retailer. Starcount, led by Edwina Dunn and Clive Humby, will utilise its pioneering and innovative approach and technology to map out customer passions in order to predict future buying behaviour.

Starcount’s appointment follows a Marketing Team restructure last month to ensure that the team is more closely aligned to the strategic priorities of the business. Marketing and customer engagement play a significant part in M&S’ transformation ensuring it is faster, more commercial and acutely focused on our customers.

Rob Weston who was appointed Marketing Director, Brand & Customer as part of the restructure, said: “I am really looking forward to working with Starcount in my new role. Sparks plays a huge part in helping with our transformation and having the best partners will enable us to focus on achieving a seamless experience for our customers.”

Edwina Dunn, CEO, Starcount, said: “We are delighted to be working with M&S and partnering with them on predicting their customers’ wants and needs. Starcount’s expertise is the science of purchase and intent, understanding the ‘why’ behind M&S customer purchases to help deliver growth, profitability as well as a seamless customer experience.”

Notes to Editors:

Making M&S Special 

In November 2017 Marks & Spencer set out a transformation programme for the business concentrating on Restoring the Basics, Shaping the Future and Making M&S Special.

Under this transformation programme, Making M&S Special, M&S has to date announced:

  • A slowdown in the Simply Food store opening programme
  • An acceleration of the UK store estate programme
  • The sale and franchise of its retail business in Hong Kong and Macau
  • A new Technology Transformation Programme
  • Improvements to its Clothing & Home Logistics Network
  • The restructure of the Customer, Marketing & Digital Team

For further information, please contact:

Corporate Press Office:
020 8718 1919

Source: Marks & Spencer

Marks & Spencer to open a new Clothing & Home distribution centre in Welham Green (Hertfordshire) in 2019

  • New 495,000 sq ft Clothing & Home distribution centre to open in Welham Green in 2019
  • Operations at Neasden distribution centre to transfer to other sites in the M&S network

LONDON, 2018-Jan-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — As part of its five-year transformation plan, Marks & Spencer (M&S) is set to open a new Clothing & Home distribution centre in Welham Green (Hertfordshire) early next year.

The existing 495,000 sq ft site will be transformed into a mechanised clothing distribution centre, serving 150 stores in the South East. The former Tesco site will be operated by a third-party logistics supplier, employing over 500 people.

Additionally, M&S will cease operations at its Neasden, North London, distribution centre and transfer the work to other sites in the M&S network.

Gordon Mowat, Director of Clothing & Home Supply Chain & Logistics, said: “M&S is changing and we are transforming our stores and supply chain to better serve our customers.

“The new site in Welham will deliver better service and availability for our customers and enable us to become a faster, more agile, lower cost retailer. The location has fantastic transport links and we’re looking forward to building a great operation in Hertfordshire.

“The decision to move operations from Neasden to other sites within our network is not one we have taken lightly, however it’s an important part of our transformation.”

The Welham Green centre will be fitted out and tested during 2018 and is expected to start operations early next year. The site will incorporate 27,000 sq ft of office space.

The site in Neasden is operated by third-party logistics specialist XPO Logistics with transport operations at the site provided by DHL. Both XPO and DHL have now entered into a period of consultation with the 380 colleagues who work on site.

The changes are the latest in M&S’ journey to adopting a single-tier Clothing & Home distribution network.  The network currently comprises of 19 distribution centres and warehouses, including large centres in Swindon, Castle Donington and Bradford.

– Ends –

For further information, please contact:

Corporate Press Office:
020 8718 1919

Note to Editors: 

Making M&S Special  

In November 2017 Marks & Spencer set out a transformation programmefor the business concentrating on Restoring the Basics, Shaping the Future and Making M&S Special.

Under this transformation programme, Making M&S Special, M&S has to date announced:

SOURCE: Marks and Spencer plc.

Marks & Spencer appoints Sharry Cramond to the new role of Marketing Director, Food & Hospitality

LONDON, 2018-Jan-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — Marks & Spencer today announces that it has restructured its Marketing Team as part of its ongoing programme of change under its five-year transformation plan. The new team structure strengthens talent and will be more closely aligned to the strategic priorities of the Food and Clothing & Home business units.

The move will see Sharry Cramond join the team in the new role of Marketing Director, Food & Hospitality. Sharry joins from Southeastern Grocers in the USA and is a highly experienced retail & digital marketer having worked in senior positions at Tesco and Coles Australia, as well as many well-known food brands.

To complement Sharry’s position in Food & Hospitality, Nathan Ansell, who is currently Marketing Director Customer & Loyalty, is appointed to the new role of Marketing Director, Clothing & Home. Completing the senior marketing team will be Rob Weston who will move to be Marketing Director, Brand & Customer, assuming responsibility for a new customer centre of excellence in addition to his current brand remit. All three roles will report into Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, Executive Director, Customer, Marketing & Digital.

Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne said: “We’re changing M&S. Marketing and customer engagement will play a significant part in our transformation. The new team structure reflects this and, coupled with our one-brand approach, will ensure that we are faster, more commercial and acutely focused on our customers.

“Sharry is a creative firebrand who brings strong food and digital experience to the team. We are looking forward to working together to drive our transformation plan with pace and clarity for our customers.”

In addition to these changes, which take effect from 29 January 2018, M&S today confirms that Victoria Self, who as previously announced is joining M&S as Digital Director reporting to Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, will take up her role on 25 January 2018.

– Ends –

For further information, please contact:

Marks & Spencer Corporate Press Office           +44 (0) 20 8718 1919

 

Notes to Editors:

Making M&S Special 

In November 2017 Marks & Spencer set out a transformation programmefor the business concentrating on Restoring the Basics, Shaping the Future and Making M&S Special.

Under this transformation programme, Making M&S Special, M&S has to date announced:

A slowdown in the Simply Food store opening programme

An acceleration of the UK store estate programme

The sale and franchise of its retail business in Hong Kong and Macau

A new Technology Transformation Programme

Improvements to its Clothing & Home Logistics Network

SOURCE: Marks and Spencer plc

Marks & Spencer announces the sale and franchise of its retail business in Hong Kong and Macau to Al-Futtaim

LONDON, UK, 2018-Jan-03 — /EPR Retail News/ — Marks & Spencer (M&S) has today confirmed the sale and franchise of its retail business in Hong Kong and Macau to its long-established franchise partner Al-Futtaim. The sale, which completed on 30 December, sees Al-Futtaim become the new sole franchisee for M&S in Hong Kong and Macau.

Al-Futtaim has worked in partnership with M&S since 1998 when it opened Dubai’s first M&S store. Following the purchase of 27 Marks & Spencer stores in Hong Kong and Macau, Al-Futtaim now operates 72 Marks & Spencer stores across 11 markets in Asia and the Middle East.

Paul Friston, Marks & Spencer’s International Director, said: “We have substantially reshaped our International business, which has improved profitability and positioned us for growth. As one of the world’s leading retail operators, with strong logistics capabilities and local expertise, Al-Futtaim is the ideal partner for us to develop and grow our business in Hong Kong and Macau.”

Stephen Rayfield, Vice President M&S and Sports & Lifestyle Division at Al-Futtaim said: “We are delighted to strengthen our long-term partnership with M&S and expand Al-Futtaim’s international footprint to Hong Kong and Macau. Al-Futtaim looks forward to building on our solid foundations as we continue to enrich our customers’ lives and aspirations through the provision of quality products and services in Hong Kong and Macau.”

The sale follows M&S’s strategic review of its International business in November 2016, where M&S proposed to have a greater focus on its established franchise and joint venture partnerships and operate with fewer wholly-owned markets.

-ENDS

For further information, please contact:

M&S Corporate PR Office +44 (0)208 718 1919

Notes to Editors

  • Marks & Spencer entered Hong Kong in 1988 and now has 27 stores in Hong Kong and Macau.
  • The sale relates to M&S’s owned retail business in Hong Kong and Macau only. M&S’s Hong Kong sourcing based operation will remain wholly-owned.

About Marks & Spencer

  • Established in 1884, Marks & Spencer is one of the UK’s leading retailers.
  • Marks & Spencer is committed to making every moment special for its customers, through its high quality, own-brand food, clothing and home products that it offers in over 1,400 Marks & Spencer stores worldwide and online.
  • Internationally, Marks & Spencer trades in 50 markets, with over 400 stores and an online presence in 25 markets.
  • For more information please visit: http://corporate.marksandspencer.com/

About Al-Futtaim

  • Al-Futtaim has worked in partnership with Marks & Spencer since 1998.
  • Established in the 1930s as a trading business, Al-Futtaim is one of the most progressive regional business houses headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Al-Futtaim operates through more than 200 companies across four operational divisions: automotive, financial services, real estate and retail, and employs in excess of 42,000 people across 29 countries in the Middle East, Asia and Europe.
  • Al-Futtaim has also acquired a strategic interest in RSH Limited which operates in the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Middle East.
  • Since 2008, Al-Futtaim has also owned Robinson Group, Singapore’s signature department store chain and specialty stores.
  • For more information please visit: www.alfuttaim.com

SOURCE: Marks and Spencer plc

Marks & Spencer in franchise talks with Al-Futtaim for M&S’s retail business in Hong Kong and Macau

London, 2017-Aug-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — Marks & Spencer (M&S) today announced it has opened talks with its long-established franchise partner Al-Futtaim, for the potential purchase and franchising of M&S’s owned retail business in Hong Kong and Macau. A successful conclusion to these discussions would see Al-Futtaim become the new sole franchisee for M&S in Hong Kong and Macau.

Al-Futtaim has worked in partnership with M&S since 1998 when it opened the first M&S store in Dubai. Today, Al-Futtaim operates 43 Marks & Spencer stores across seven markets in the Middle East, as well as in Singapore and Malaysia. Most recently Al-Futtaim has extended the reach of M&S’s popular chilled food to three markets, and will shortly be opening the first standalone M&S Food store in the Middle East.

The talks follow M&S’s strategic review of its International business in November 2016, where M&S proposed to have a greater focus on its established franchise and joint venture partnerships and operate with fewer wholly-owned markets. In Hong Kong, where M&S has traded since 1988, the business is profitable, has strong brand awareness, an established store estate of 27 stores and a loyal customer base.

M&S and Al-Futtaim have now entered into discussions on the potential purchase and franchise which includes commencing a period of due diligence, which is expected to take several months to complete. M&S employees will be kept informed of any developments throughout the process and M&S stores in Hong Kong and Macau will continue to trade as normal.

Paul Friston, Marks & Spencer’s International Director, said: “In November we set out our plans to create a more sustainable, profitable and customer-centric International business for M&S by focussing on our established partnerships. Al-Futtaim is a key partner to M&S in Asia and the Middle East and we are both committed to putting the customer at the heart of everything we do. With significant scale and retail expertise in the region, we are looking forward to discussing the potential extension of our partnership to Hong Kong and Macau as we continue to grow and develop our business together.”

Stephen Rayfield, Senior Managing Director – Fashion & Lifestyle Division at Al-Futtaim said: “As long-term partners of Marks & Spencer, I’m delighted that we are now working together to explore the potential expansion of our partnership to Hong Kong and Macau.

“M&S and Al-Futtaim share values, and an approach that focuses the customer at the heart of our businesses. Al-Futtaim looks forward to building on our solid foundations as we continue to enrich our customers’ lives and aspirations through the provision of quality products and services in Hong Kong and Macau – these are among Marks & Spencer’s most successful and important international markets.”

Notes to Editors

  • Marks & Spencer entered Hong Kong in 1988 and now has 27 stores in Hong Kong and Macau.
  • The potential purchase relates to M&S’s owned retail business in Hong Kong and Macau only. M&S’s Hong Kong sourcing based operation will remain wholly-owned.

About Marks & Spencer

  • Established in 1884, Marks & Spencer is one of the UK’s leading retailers.
  • Marks & Spencer is committed to making every moment special for its customers, through its high quality, own-brand food, clothing and home products that it offers in over 1,400 Marks & Spencer stores worldwide and online.
  • Internationally, Marks & Spencer trades in 50 markets, with over 400 stores and an online presence in 25 markets.
  • For more information please visit: http://corporate.marksandspencer.com/

About Al-Futtaim

  • Al-Futtaim has worked in partnership with Marks & Spencer since 1998 and operates 27 M&S stores in the Middle East region and 16 in South East Asia.
  • Established in the 1930s as a trading business, Al-Futtaim is one of the most progressive regional business houses headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Al-Futtaim operates through more than 200 companies across four operational divisions: automotive, financial services, real estate and retail, and employs in excess of 42,000 people across 29 countries in the Middle East, Asia and Europe.
  • Al-Futtaim has also acquired a strategic interest in RSH Limited which operates in the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Middle East.
  • Since 2008, Al-Futtaim has also owned Robinson Group, Singapore’s signature department store chain and specialty stores.
  • For more information please visit: www.alfuttaim.com 

For further information, please contact:

M&S Corporate Press Office
+44208 718 1919

Source: Marks & Spencer

Marks & Spencer trials fresh sushi counters in partnership with sushi experts Wasabi

LONDON, 2017-Aug-04 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today (Wednesday 2nd August) Marks & Spencer has announced a trial of fresh sushi counters in partnership with sushi experts Wasabi – bringing customers expertly prepared fresh products and improving the in-store experience with a touch of theatre.

The counters, located in the Foodhall, will sell an extensive range of Wasabi’s products, with focus on the expertly prepared fresh raw sushi and hot meals. All the products meet M&S’s ethical sourcing standards. As a concession service, customers will order at the Wasabi counters and pay at the M&S checkout, allowing them to easily purchase from both brands.

The partnership will begin with a five store trial, four of which are in London, with all of the counters due to open before Christmas. It comes as M&S develops it’s offering in London, with its new Bishopsgate store opening last week – one of seven that will open over the coming year in the Capital.

As a co-branded partnership it is the first of its kind for both M&S and Wasabi. The companies share a passion for offering customers the very best fresh, healthy and convenient food, alongside delivering effective operations and the very best service for customers. The companies will be listening carefully to customer feedback to develop the roll out of this exciting partnership.

Mr Dong Hyun Kim, Founder of Wasabi said, “This partnership is extremely exciting for Wasabi. Our customers know that they can expect high quality, affordable sushi and hot food from us. We’re delighted to have the opportunity to bring our expertise and innovation to Marks & Spencer customers as well.  M&S has been a sign of quality for 133 years and I am confident that this partnership will lead to more success for both businesses.”

Andy Adcock, Food Director at M&S said, “At M&S we put the customer at the heart of everything we do and we’re excited that this partnership will see us bring new products and a new experience to our customers. Health, convenience and food on the move are all growing areas of our business and by working with an expert partner we know we can offer our customers the very best.”

Media enquiries:

M&S Corporate Press Office
0208 718 1919

Source: M&S

Marks & Spencer releases 2016/17 Plan A highlights

London, 2017-Jun-09 — /EPR Retail News/ — Marks & Spencer (M&S) has today (08 Jun 2017) published its 2017 Plan A report, detailing progress against its sustainable business plan for financial year 2016/17.

2016/17 Plan A highlights

  • 4/5 M&S products now have an eco or ethical quality above market norm;
  • Healthier food now accounts for 41% of M&S Food sales;
  • Food, Home and Beauty suppliers added to interactive supply chain map;
  • 93% of Sparks card holders have chosen a charity to support and £1.8 million donated in 2016/17;
  • M&S ranked 2nd overall and top in Food and Clothing sectors in first Corporate Human Rights Benchmark;
  • Supply chain training passes 800,000 target;
  • 28% reduction in UK and ROI waste;
  • Significant expansion of food surplus redistribution scheme;
  • Stores, offices and warehouses raised £1.4 million for local charities and £6.9 million raised for health and wellbeing charities;
  • All the electricity M&S procures classified as renewable.

64 of the Plan A 2020 commitments set in 2014 have been achieved with 25 progressing on plan, 11 behind plan and six commitments have not been achieved. 107* Plan A commitments were set in 2014 with deadlines ranging from 2017 to 2020.

During the year M&S continued to operate as a zero waste to landfill business (first achieved in 2012) and remains the only carbon neutral major retailer (four years in a row).

Mike Barry, Plan A Director at M&S, said: “In a year of change at M&S, Plan A has once again made a significant contribution to M&S and made good progress in making our products, stores and supply chains better for people, planet and communities.

“There are some outstanding achievements in the 2017 report and solid progress across our commitments. As will always be the case with an ambitious, stretching plan, some of our goals are behind plan, but in every case we have an action plan to address the challenges and hit our commitment targets.”

Plan A is now in its 10th year and a new ambitious, customer focused version of the plan, Plan A 2025, launched last week. The new plan focuses on helping to transform 1,000 communities, helping 10 million people live healthier happier lives and making M&S a zero-waste business. There are 100 bold commitments due to be completed over the next eight years.”

Mike Barry continued: “We’ve achieved so much over the last decade, but I’m very clear that it was just a dress rehearsal for the disruptive steps M&S will take over the next decade as Plan A 2025 helps transform M&S into a truly sustainable business.”

2016/17 Plan A highlights in more detail

4/5 M&S products now have an eco or ethical quality above market norm

79% of all M&S products sold worldwide now have an eco or ethical quality above the market norm such as Fairtrade, cruelty free beauty products or recycled packaging (target is 100% by 2020).

Healthier food now accounts for 41% of M&S Food sales

The Eat Well range was improved and expanded last year and the Balanced For You and Count on Us ranges continue to go from strength-to-strength. New products launched in 2016/17 include new healthy convenience choices such as Nourish Bowls and 41 products were added to the Made Without range. In total, healthier food now accounts for 41% of total M&S Food sales.

Food, Home and Beauty suppliers added to interactive supply chain map

Customers and stakeholders can now see where M&S Clothing, Home, Beauty and Food products are made or produced on the M&S supply chain interactive map.  A total of 1,539 suppliers are listed. The map is updated every six months.

93% of Sparks card holders have chosen a charity to support and £1.8 million donated in 2016/17

93% of customers that hold a Sparks membership card have chosen one of ten charities to support. M&S donates a penny to the customer’s chosen charity every time they shop at M&S and donations were £1.8 million in 2016/17 (since the card was launched the figure is £2.4 million). Charities benefitting include Macmillan Cancer Support, Great Ormond Street and Shelter.

M&S ranked 2nd overall and top in Food and Clothing sectors in first Corporate Human Rights Benchmark

The recently published Corporate Human Rights Benchmark, which ranked 98 global companies on human rights performance, saw M&S ranked 2nd overall and top in both the Clothing and Food sectors.

Supply chain training passes 800,000 target

M&S passed its target of training 800,000 people (since 2010) in its supply chain in 2016/17 (now 890,000). Workers across the world have benefited from training on subjects such as employee rights, healthcare, numeracy and literacy.

28% reduction in UK and ROI waste

M&S has reduced the amount of waste it produces every year by 28% against a 2007 baseline. All the waste produced has been recycled since 2012 using a range of different material and energy recovery techniques.

Significant expansion of food surplus redistribution scheme

M&S’ food surplus redistribution scheme was significantly expanded in 2016/17. Nearly 600 charities benefited from the redistribution of surplus fruit, vegetables, bread, cakes and other groceries. 757 tonnes of surplus foods were donated (this compares to 168 tonnes in 2015/16). M&S works in partnership with Neighbourly, the social network for social good, to connect local charities with their local M&S store.

Stores, offices and warehouses raised £1.4 million for local charities and £6.9 million raised for health and wellbeing charities

In 2016/17 M&S stores, offices and warehouses raised £1.4 million for local charities – the majority coming through stores adopting a ‘charity of the year’ through the Neighbourly social network. Additionally, £6.9 million was raised last year for health and wellbeing charities such as Breast Cancer Now (£2.8m) and Macmillan Cancer Support (£3.5m) through fundraising, events and product sales.

All the electricity M&S procures classified as renewable

In 2016/17 all the electricity purchased for M&S stores, offices and warehouses in the UK and ROI came from green tariff renewable sources or on-site generation, or was supported by other market-place instruments. Additionally, 27% of M&S’ gas consumption has been replaced with bio-methane.

For the full report please visit  http://corporate.marksandspencer.com/

* One of the Plan A commitments set in 2014 has subsequently been cancelled, as detailed in the 2015 Plan A report.

Contact: 

Daniel Himsworth
Marks & Spencer Press Office
0208 718 1919
daniel.himsworth@marks-and-spencer.com

Source: Marks & Spencer

Plan A 2025: Marks & Spencer to launch new major community transformation programme

London, 2017-Jun-02 — /EPR Retail News/ — Marks & Spencer today (01 Jun 2017) announces a major community transformation programme as part of Plan A 2025 – its new plan to support 1,000 communities, help 10 million people live happier, healthier lives and convert M&S into a zero-waste business.

The pioneering programme will see M&S work with local councils and charity partners to support communities to deliver positive, measurable change. It is launching on ‘Make it Matter Day’ – when M&S is encouraging the UK to make every decision count* and #SpenditWell.

It will initially be piloted in ten communities over the next two years, when M&S will trial a range of actions designed to tackle the issues that matter most to communities – such as unemployment, skill shortages, loneliness, poverty, and mental health and wellbeing. Successful initiatives will be rolled out to a further 100 locations by 2023 and learnings will be shared with 1,000 locations by 2025.

Steve Rowe, Chief Executive of Marks & Spencer said: “Marks & Spencer has been at the forefront of social change for 133 years and we’re determined to play a leading role in the years ahead by taking positive action to enable customers and communities to live happier, healthier lifestyles.

“Through our UK-wide store network we are seeing more and more evidence that communities need support from partners, like M&S, to positively deliver change.

“We’ve looked at what matters to communities, which are issues like access to work-place skills, social inclusion, support for mental health problems and believe we can play a key role and make a real difference to community life. We’re starting with ten so that we can learn, adapt and develop an agile approach that will allow us to support 1,000 communities by 2025.”

The ten communities M&S is currently in discussions with are Birmingham (focusing on Handsworth and Handsworth Wood), Bradford, Glasgow (focusing on Easterhouse), Liverpool (focusing on Toxteth and Dingle), Derry~Londonderry, Merthyr Tydfil, Middlesbrough, London Borough of Newham, Norwich and Rochdale.

In these communities, M&S will trial a series of locally tailored initiatives that will aim to improve the social wellbeing and happiness of residents by working with The Social Innovation Partnership to track how residents feel about their community – how positive they are, if they are connected to others and whether they feel part of the community.

To deliver the initiatives M&S will work with local councils and partners including Business In The Community, Royal Voluntary Service, The Silver Line, Power to Change, Frazzled Cafe and Neighbourly. Each of the 10 locations will have a programme of activities that is expected to include some or all of the following, as well as bespoke initiatives:

  • Support for children starting school, including 10,000 pairs of plimsolls;
  • Careers advice, CV and interview support and work experience for school leavers;
  • A plan to create the biggest friendship group in the area to tackle loneliness and exclusion by bringing together customers, colleagues and local people through events at M&S stores such as tea parties and walking clubs and a network of volunteer phone buddies;
  • Hosting Frazzled Cafes for those feeling stressed or in need of support;
  • Support for up to 100 start-up community businesses that are led by and for the benefit of local people in the seven communities in England by partnering with Power to Change to combine grants of up to £50,000 and access to skills and advice on topics such as business planning, supply chains, digital development and customer research. A similar programme with different partners will be developed for the three communities in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland;
  • Investment in outdoor spaces that can be enjoyed by everyone. Proposals include urban gardens, high street flowerbeds, city tree planting and green walls that have the potential to benefit over 150,000 people in the 10 communities;
  • Grants to support food surplus charities to fund fridges and cool bags to ensure they can redistribute fresh food and providing volunteers to host special events throughout the year – every year our stores will provide an estimated 30,000 meals to the homeless and people living in poverty in the 10 locations;
  • Employee volunteering – kicking off this week with over 7,000 M&S colleagues from 650 stores and offices donating time to over 700 local community projects all over the UK over the next ten days.

Amanda MacKenzie, Chief Executive of Business in the Community, said: “Healthy, prosperous communities need business as much as businesses need resilient, thriving communities. Business in the Community is delighted to be supporting M&S. They are leading The Prince’s Responsible Business Network with this exemplar programme bringing support into areas of greatest need across the UK. We very much look forward to working with them to engage many others and together, achieve the greatest impact possible, which is the foundation of Business in the Community.”

Vidhya Alakeson, Chief Executive of Power to Change, said: “We are extremely proud to team up with M&S and invest in making communities even stronger and more resilient. This is about realising that we can all achieve much more by working together. None of us have all the answers on our own. The social sector and the private sector can come together with local people to help them change the places where they live. Community businesses are already helping local people and local economies all over the country, and we look forward to joining forces with M&S to support the movement even more.”

David McCullough, Chief Executive of Royal Voluntary Service said: “This programme is exactly in line with our belief that, by working together in partnerships, we can provide more of the practical help and contact that we all will need as we get older.”

More detail on the pilot community programme can be found here.

As well as supporting 1,000 communities, Plan A 2025 also aims to make M&S a zero-waste business and to help 10 million people live happier, healthier lives. New commitments include –

  • Supporting M&S colleagues worldwide to provide one million hours of worktime community volunteering between 2017 and 2025;
  • All M&S packaging to be ‘widely recyclable’ by 2022;
  • Halving food waste by 2025;
  • At least half of global food sales coming from healthier products by 2022;
  • Helping to raise £25 million for charities tackling cancer, heart disease, mental health problems, loneliness and dementia by 2025;
  • All key raw materials M&S uses to come from sustainable sources by 2025;
  • M&S will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% in its own operations by 2030 (compared to 2007 levels) and, during the same period, cut emissions in its supply chain by 13.3m tonnes (approved Science Based Target).

M&S will report on Plan A 2025 progress every year in June and the commitments will be assured by independent auditors and M&S’ own audit team.

A full press release on Plan A 2025 can be found here.

The original Plan A programme launched 10 years ago and has since helped redefine the role of business in society. It has delivered 296 stretching eco and ethical commitments, won 240 awards and saved over £750 million in costs through efficiencies such as using less energy, fewer transport miles and reducing packaging.

More detail on Plan A progress can be found here.

A study conducted on behalf of M&S last month found that 96% of us admit to living life on autopilot, resulting in an epidemic of non-engagement with the world and sub-conscious decision making. As a result, M&S is urging the UK to break out of autopilot and make every decision count as part of its challenge to the nation to #SpenditWell.

Contact:
Beth Andlaw
T +44 (0)20 3861 3812
M +44 (0)7720 497 607

Victoria Mayman
T +44(0)20 3861 3827
M +44(0)7921 353 479
M&SbrandPR@grayling.com

Source: M&S

Marks & Spencer launches new eco and ethical programme – Plan A 2025

New eco and ethical ambition set 10 years after original 100-point five-year plan

London, 2017-Jun-02 — /EPR Retail News/ — Marks & Spencer today (01 Jun 2017) launches a new sustainability plan – Plan A 2025. The eco and ethical programme is an ambitious, customer focused plan that builds on the success of the first 10 years of Plan A and will support 1,000 communities, help 10 million people live happier, healthier lives and convert M&S into a zero-waste business.

The three-pillar plan is designed to tackle the big issues facing retailers, consumer businesses and society today. It spans customer and colleague wellbeing, transforming lives and communities and caring for the planet. Each pillar includes pioneering new commitments, for example:

  • Making all M&S packaging ‘widely recyclable’;
  • Raising £25 million for charities tackling cancer, heart disease, mental health problems, loneliness and dementia;
  • At least half of food sales coming from healthier products;
  • Colleagues completing one million hours of work-time community volunteering;
  • All key raw materials M&S uses coming from sustainable sources;
  • A new 10 community pilot that will see M&S work with local councils and charity partners to support communities to deliver positive, measurable change, the results of which will be rolled out to 100 locations.

Steve Rowe, Chief Executive of Marks & Spencer’s said: “Marks & Spencer has been at the forefront of social change for 133 years and we’re determined to play a leading role in the years ahead. Plan A 2025 will help us build a sustainable future by helping our customers live healthier lives, supporting the communities they live in and we source from and looking after the planet we all share. We believe we can engage all of our 32 million customers, 85,000 colleagues and 200,000 shareholders in the plan that becomes a mass voice for sustainable change.”

Jonathon Porritt, Chair of the Plan A Advisory Board, said: “It’s so important that M&S, one of the world’s most trusted and well-loved companies, keeps raising the bar on what it means to be a sustainable retailer.  On all the big challenges – supply chain, climate, food waste, living wage, human rights, packaging, community investment and so on – the pressure is intensifying and expectations rising.  It’s great to see M&S leading the way here.”

Plan A 2025 

Wellbeing
Plan A 2025 is designed to help inspire customers to be the best they can be and play a role in helping society tackle the wellbeing challenge. New commitments include:

  • At least half of global food sales coming from healthier products by 2022;
  • Helping to raise £25 million for charities tackling cancer, heart disease, mental health problems, loneliness and dementia by 2025;
  • By 2025, 20% of all M&S clothing will have a Plan A health or wellbeing attribute;
  • By 2019 M&S will incentivise and reward customers for making healthy choices;
  • By the end of 2018 all single portion snacks, confectionery and ice cream will be less than 250 calories.

Transforming lives and communities
Plan A 2025 aims to help play a transformative role in communities by enabling local economies to thrive, helping to build socially connected communities and improving local environments. New commitments include:

  • By 2020, in 10 locations M&S will complete programmes that aim to secure meaningful economic, social and environmental benefits in the communities around M&S stores and beyond. M&S will build on insights and roll out programmes in 100 further locations in the UK?and internationally by 2023, then share learnings with 1,000 locations by 2025;
  • Making space available for community use in 50% of Clothing, Home and Food stores by 2025;
  • Between 2017 and 2025, supporting M&S colleagues worldwide to provide one million hours of worktime community volunteering;
  • M&S will enter into a new collaboration with Oxfam over three years focusing on the UK and India to develop a deeper understanding of the connection between sourcing practices and human rights impacts. Oxfam will report the findings independently, whilst M&S will develop a programme of actions and report annually on progress from 2018;
  • Over the next seven years the M&S Global Community Programme will help a million people in M&S’ supply chain communities to help build livelihoods and protect the environment.

Caring for the planet
Plan A has helped make substantial improvements to M&S’ environmental footprint. Plan A 2025 will do even more with M&S aiming to make its entire business model zero waste – not just its own operations but also its supply chains and products. M&S has also set its first ever approved science-based target*. New commitments include:

  • All M&S packaging to be ‘widely recyclable’ by 2022;
  • Halving food waste by 2025;
  • By 2025 all key raw materials M&S uses will come from sustainable sources, including all cotton by 2019;
  • By 2025 at least ¼ of all M&S Clothing and Home products will be made using 25% recycled material;
  • M&S will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% in its own operations by 2030 (compared to 2007 levels) and, during the same period, cut emissions in its supply chain by 13.3m tonnes (approved science-based target).

Mike Barry, Director of Plan A at Marks & Spencer said: “The first 10 years of Plan A have given us the confidence to embrace a sustainable future. Plan A 2025 is now our plan for a future in which a truly sustainable M&S can, in partnership with our customers and stakeholders, have a positive impact in all we do. It will force us to address questions for which we don’t have all the answers to yet and collaborate with others to drive true change across consumer goods industries.”

Plan A 2025 will be backed by a marketing campaign that includes M&S’ first ever Plan A store take-over with every single M&S window featuring a Plan A message and M&S’ 70 biggest stores hosting a welcome zone that details what the store is doing to support its local community. It is part of M&S’ new Spend It Well brand campaign and includes radio support as well as a digital push which includes a new Plan A hub at www.marksandspencer.com/s/make-it-matter and promoted content on social media.

M&S will report on Plan A 2025 progress every year in June and the commitments will be assured by independent auditors and M&S’ own audit team.

10 years of Plan A
Plan A launched 10 years ago and has since helped redefine the role of business in society. It has delivered 296 stretching eco and ethical commitments, won 240 awards and saved over £750 million in costs through efficiencies such as using less energy, fewer transport miles and reducing packaging. A decade of achievements includes:

  • Over 27 million items of clothing Shwopped (since 2008);
  • One billion coat hangers saved;
  • Making M&S the world’s first and only carbon neutral major retailer;
  • 17,000 people helped from disadvantaged parts of the community through M&S employability schemes – over 50% going on to find work;
  • Carrier bag usage reduced by 80%, saving 4 billion carrier bags since 2008;
  • Raising £25m for Breast Cancer Now (since 2001) and £10m for Macmillan;
  • Improving UK and Ireland energy efficiency by 39%;
  • Converting 100% of the palm oil used in M&S products to RSPO certified;
  • Converting 49% of M&S cotton, 99% of the wood in M&S products, stores and marketing materials and 27% of M&S leather to more sustainable sources;
  • 890,000 people in the M&S supply chain benefitted from training on subjects such as employee rights, health care, numeracy and literacy.

Aron Cramer, President and CEO of BSR (Business for Social Responsibility) said: “This edition of Plan A reflects the ambition that has been the hallmark of M&S’ efforts since this framework was launched a decade ago. Crucially, M&S has met the moment by updating Plan A to address the urgency of business action to address climate, the need to make sustainability relevant and actionable for its customers, and the changing nature of retail in our fast-changing world.”

More detail on Plan A progress can be found here.

The Science Based Targets initiative champions science-based target setting as a powerful way of boosting companies’ competitive advantage in the transition to the low-carbon economy. It is a collaboration between CDP, World Resources Institute (WRI), the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), and the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and one of the We Mean Business Coalition commitments. The initiative defines and promotes best practice in science-based target setting, offers resources and guidance to reduce barriers to adoption, and independently assesses and approves companies’ targets.

www.sciencebasedtargets.org  @sciencetargets

For further information, please contact:

Beth Andlaw
T +44 (0)20 3861 3812
M +44 (0)7720 497 607

Victoria Mayman
T +44(0)20 3861 3827
M +44(0)7921 353 479
M&SbrandPR@grayling.com

Source: M&S

Marks & Spencer: New study reveals average Brit makes 15 decisions on autopilot a day

Average Brit says ‘yes’ to FOUR things they should say ’no’ to every day because they live in fear of letting others down

London, 2017-May-12 — /EPR Retail News/ — The UK is an ‘autopilot’ nation in danger of sleep-walking through the choices we make, according to a new cultural report released today (11 May 2017). The average person in Britain makes 15 decisions on autopilot a day – that’s more than 250,000 autopilot decisions in a lifetime – without truly thinking about them.

The ‘Autopilot Britain’ study was conducted on behalf of Marks & Spencer with a panel of leading experts as part of its new #SpenditWell campaign, and explores the decision-making behaviour of over 3,000 adults.Ninety-six per cent admit to living life on autopilot, resulting in an epidemic of non-engagement with the world and sub-conscious decision making. These autopilot decisions range from what to wear in the morning to what to have for lunch or dinner – and even extend to what to do at the weekend.  As a result, M&S is urging the UK to break out of autopilot and make every decision count on 1 June 2017, as the nation comes together for Make it Matter Day to focus on finding the time for the everyday things that really matter in life.

The research findings show that our autopilot reflex is triggering negative habits, with the majority of people allowing routine to dictate their decisions, defaulting to ‘yes’ mode when – if they gave themselves more time to make the right choices – their natural instinct would be to say ‘no’. cording to the research, we say ‘yes’ four times a day when we wish we hadn’t, resulting in 70,000 moments of being untrue to ourselves and drowning out our inner voice over the course of a lifetime.  Almost half of adults (47 per cent) admit this is because they don’t want to let people down and over a third (37 per cent) believe it’s simply easier to say ‘yes’ than ‘no’ to others.

Despite the scale of the problem, the majority (81 per cent) said if they could simply change one small thing every day, it would give them greater clarity of thought and help release them from the autopilot epidemic.

When it comes to the top three situations where Brits are most likely to say ‘yes’ when they really wish they’d said ‘no’, more than a quarter (26 per cent) highlighted agreeing to work late, closely followed by saying ‘yes’ to a social event they know they won’t attend, and visiting people they don’t get on with.

Commenting on the research, Steve Rowe, CEO, M&S said: “Our in-depth customer study has shown that living life on autopilot is a direct consequence of us being so hectic and means that we don’t always get the most out of life. However, for most people one small change a day can make a huge difference. That’s why we are calling on the nation to stop saying yes to things that don’t matter and start making more conscious decisions.  Starting on Make it Matter Day on 1 June, we want our customers to share with us just how they are making decisions that count.”

Make it Matter Day will see M&S call on the nation to turn their four daily autopilot decisions into more enriching, empowered choices, to say ‘no’ instead of defaulting to ‘yes’, and to share these everyday triumphs to help inspire others.

The study also found that being too busy to notice what decisions we make, the dominance of technology and spending too much time comparing ourselves unfavourably to others, means Britons are trapped in autopilot mode with 61 per cent sticking to the same, familiar patterns.

“Autopilot is a growing problem,” said Dr Mark Williamson, Director of Action for Happiness and contributor to the study.  “It has gone from being an evolutionary protection mechanism that stopped our brains overloading, to our default mode of operating whereby we sleep-walk into our choices.  It has seeped into more and more areas of our lives and relationships making us feel out of control.

“We are always on.  If you pause, you risk letting yourself or others down. When you stand still, it’s perceived that you’re going backwards. As we look around us, it seems like other people are living successful, perfect lives.  Autopilot makes it harder for us to make instinctively good choices so we feel trapped, and that we’re living some-one else’s life.”

The autopilot epidemic means:

  • Over a third (39 per cent) say their autopilot is switched on while relaxing at home – exactly when they should be engaging with the people who matter most, while a quarter of people admit to being on autopilot while at work
  • Seventy-six per cent of people feel they are not spending their time well, with one in five admitting to not properly listening to others when in autopilot mode
  • Over two fifths of adults (44 per cent) have forgotten something whilst on autopilot including birthdays, paying an important bill, locking the front door and even picking the children up from school

“We’re forgetting that when we are at home, one of the most important things is to interact with our family members without being constantly distracted,” says Professor Renata Salecl, author of ‘Tyranny of Choice’, and another expert involved in the Autopilot Britain study.

What kind of ‘autopilot’ are you?
According to the study, acting on autopilot doesn’t affect everyone in the same way and people need to be aware of their own personal autopilots and how they impact on daily life. “The first step is really recognising what is going on and encouraging people to notice what their autopilot behaviours are because then you’ve started the journey to changing that,” says Dr Mark Williamson.

“It is within our grasp to liberate ourselves from life on autopilot if we notice what’s going on and purposefully create more positive habits. By understanding the problem, we can identify better everyday solutions,” said Dr Mark Williamson, Director of Action for Happiness.

The study has identified a set of useful archetypes in order to help people recognise their own versions of autopilot:

Pleasers
Problem: They find it so hard to say anything other than yes that obligations pile up and the internal voice pleading them to say “no” gets drowned out.  By trying to please everyone they end up resentful of their to-do list and not focussing on what matters.

Solution: Start with a calendar cull.  Review your diary every Sunday evening and identify and cancel any engagements which aren’t necessary or you said yes to under pressure. And in the everyday, buy yourself time to say no by needing to ‘check and see.’

Pacers
Problem: On a mission to always find “what’s next”, the Pacers are so caught up in the pace of modern life that they pack as much as possible into their days – relentlessly busy “doing” rather than “being”.

Solution: Live in the now, start to list the things that matter, think around pockets of time and how to use them, and pause to look around and see how small changes can improve your pace of life around what matters. The average phone is unlocked 80 times a day for example – finding tech downtime for conversation, listening and appreciating others might be a valuable starting point.

Passengers
Problem: Overwhelmed with choice and information, like a rabbit caught in the headlights they sometimes struggle through life allowing the world around them to dictate their choices, and following the crowd too often.

Solution:  Pay less attention to the perception of others ideal lives, stop worrying about keeping up with what others might showcase as the norm, and start to make decisions on what spending it well looks like just for you. Maybe change your commute pattern, download a podcast that reinvigorates your walk, or break the mould and choose to use your best ‘things’ every day, rather than keep them for a special occasion.

The Autopilot Britain research has been commissioned as part of #SpenditWell, a new campaign from M&S to inspire the nation to make the most out of every moment.

Notes to Editors
M&S’s Autopilot Britain research surveyed 3,000 adults across the UK aged 18-60+ with Opinium.  The cultural intelligence report has been conducted with cross-disciplinary experts including Dr Mark Williamson, Director, Action for Happiness and Professor Renata Salecl, Birbeck College, University of London.

The top ten things we say ‘yes’ to when we want to say ‘no’:
1 Working late
2 To a social event we know we won’t go to
3 Visiting people we don’t get on with
4 Going for after work drinks
5 Giving into the kids for an easy life
6 Offering to look after someone else’s kids…or pets
7 Team-building days
8 Agreeing to give a speech
9 Going to a partner’s work event
10 Going on holiday with extended family or friends

The top ten times we slip into autopilot mode:
1 When choosing what to watch on TV
2 The commute
3 Choosing what we wear
4 Replying to emails
5 Choosing what we want for lunch or dinner
6 In our down time
7 When choosing from a restaurant menu
8 Weekend planning
9 Choosing where to meet friends
10 Planning school lunchboxes

The top ten things we forget when on autopilot:
1 Someone’s name
2 Returning calls
3 Packing something vital for a trip
4 Saying thank you
5 Smiling
6 To turn up to places when you say you will
7 Waiting for your change in a shop
8 Personal grooming
9 Paying a bill
10 Saying I love you

For further information, please contact:<
Libby Rowley
07902 679 121 / 020 3861 3866

Suzannah Brown
07850 532 600 / 020 3861 3876
M&S brandPR@grayling.com

Source: Marks & Spencer

Make Every Moment Special With Marks & Spencer

London, 2017-May-08 — /EPR Retail News/ — Marks & Spencer today (04 May 2017) returns to the nation’s TV screens as it launches its new brand proposition: ‘Spend it Well’. More than just a tagline, ‘Spend it Well’ is a call to action – designed to inspire and enable people to make every moment special by focusing on the quality experiences, people and things that really matter.

The ‘Spend it Well’ campaign is the first time M&S has united both its food and clothing divisions under a single tagline and philosophy.  The line will sit across all digital channels, in-store and all M&S marketing communications moving forward, including M&S Bank and its rewards club, Sparks.

‘Spend it Well’ is based on the insight that, in a world of abundance, people increasingly seek out what is important: the quality experiences, people and things that make life special.  M&S exists to help its customers make the most out of every moment, every minute, and every mouthful.  ‘Spend it Well’ is about grabbing life, burning the nice candles, wearing your best coat, breaking out the best biscuits, saying no to food that doesn’t take you to extraordinary places and, yes, never settling for uncomfortable knickers.

In a social media and mobile-first launch, and as a literal wake-up call to the nation, the 60-second ‘Spend it Well’ ad will premiere today here, Thursday 4 May, at 12.01am alongside Twitter and 6am on Facebook. It will also run throughout ITV’s Good Morning Britain from 6.00 – 8.30am.

The bold ad takes customers on a journey from cradle to graceful (or not-so-graceful) empowerment, reminding every individual and every generation that life is short, so spend it well. A series of uplifting vignettes featuring women of all ages celebrate the power of everyday choices. These choices range from the practical to the emotional, with viewers urged to say no to regrets and no to comparing yourself to others.

The launch of this campaign introduces an inspirational tone of voice for the brand, and focuses on attitude and empowerment.  It represents a commitment to putting the customer at the heart of everything it does – positioning M&S as an enabler of a life well-lived – and includes a significant focus on customer experience, on and offline.

The new advertising campaign is the first from Valenstein & Fatt (the creative agency formerly known as Grey London). The ad was directed by François Rousselet through Riff Raff Films, narrated by award-winning British actor Helen McCrory and, fittingly, set against a new arrangement of David Bowie’s classic Rebel Rebel.

Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, Executive Director of Customer, Marketing & M&S.com said: “Our ‘Spend it Well’ campaign is a radical departure from where we’ve been previously. It speaks to deep truths about our customers – based on a huge amount of research and listening – and celebrates their lives in a way which is new and innovative for the brand. To remain relevant and attract new customers, we need to get people thinking differently about M&S and recapture our position as a pioneer in culture.

“That’s why the energy, swagger and spirit of ‘Spend it Well’ is so important – it’s about empowering our customers to say no to the ordinary, so they can say yes to the best.  We’re committed to helping our customers embrace this attitude by creating and curating the world’s finest, freshest and most inspiring food, by understanding what clothing fits and flatters today’s modern woman, and by ensuring this philosophy is applied across the entire customer experience.”

Vicki Maguire, Chief Creative Officer, Valenstein & Fatt, said: “More than just a retailer, M&S is a brand that touches almost all of the population – over 60 million pairs of women’s knickers are sold every year. ‘Spend it Well’ is an attitude they share with their customer – and I should know. I’ve been their biggest fan and biggest critic for years. It’s a shared attitude that strikes a chord whether you’re 18 or 80.  And M&S has taken this to heart, across products, services, innovation, marketing and culture. For me, it’s the excuse I need to wear the nice knickers or crack open the good wine –  I’m a firm believer in life’s short, so spend it well. I can’t tell you how excited I am to help bring this to life.”

The ad is part of an integrated campaign including TV, social, digital, press, outdoor, radio and in-store activation.  A new, bespoke TV ad for Food will launch on 11 May, with targeted executions for Clothing, Home, Bank and Sparks following later in the year.

Notes to Editors
‘Spend it Well’ was created by Valenstein & Fatt
Media agency: Mindshare

For further information, please contact Grayling:

Susan Hutchinson: 07740 155619 / 020 3861 3814
Libby Rowley: 07902 679 121 / 020 3861 3866
Suzannah Brown: 07850 532 600 / 020 3861 3876
M&SbrandPR@grayling.com

Source:  M&S

Marks & Spencer appoints Jill McDonald to the new role of Managing Director, Clothing, Home & Beauty

LONDON, 2017-May-03 — /EPR Retail News/ — Marks & Spencer announces that Jill McDonald, currently CEO at Halfords, has been appointed to the new role of Managing Director, Clothing, Home & Beauty. Jill’s role will have overall profit and loss accountability for all aspects of the M&S non-Food business, from design and sourcing through to supply chain and logistics, and will report directly in to  M&S’s CEO, Steve Rowe.

Jill will join M&S in the autumn, on a date to be confirmed, and will be part of the M&S Operating Committee, the team accountable for the day-to-day running of the business and the development and execution of strategy.

As a result of this appointment, M&S is also announcing a change of responsibility for CEO Steve Rowe, who will relinquish his Clothing, Home & Beauty accountabilities to Jill on her arrival, and for CFO Helen Weir, who will hand over responsibility for the Clothing, Home & Beauty Supply Chain & Logistics.

Steve Rowe, M&S CEO, said: “I am pleased with the progress we have made in Clothing & Home over the last year and the time is now right for this appointment.

“Jill is an excellent addition to the M&S senior leadership team and we are delighted that she is joining us. Jill’s first-class customer knowledge and great experience in running dynamic, high achieving teams make her exactly the right person to lead this all-important part of our business from recovery in to growth.”

Jill McDonald said: “M&S has a unique, special relationship with its customers and I am very motivated by working closely with customers to drive and shape results. I have long been an M&S customer and professional fan, so working with the brand was a career opportunity that I just couldn’t turn down. I am looking forward to joining Steve and the team later this year to build on the plans that are already underway.”

M&S also announces today that, on Jill’s arrival, Jo Jenkins will move to the new role of Clothing & Beauty Director, reporting into Jill, and with expanded accountabilities for all clothing across womenswear, menswear and kidswear.

Marks & Spencer makes this announcement in accordance with LR9.6.11R(3)&(4).

For further information, please contact:

M&S Corporate Press Office
0208 718 1919

Source: Marks & Spencer

Marks & Spencer updates on its five-year programme to improve its UK store estate

  • 36 new stores to open in next six months
  • Over 1,400 new jobs created
  • Proposal to close six stores
  • All colleagues in affected stores guaranteed redeployment in near-by stores

LONDON, 2017-Apr-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Marks & Spencer (M&S) today updates on its five-year programme to improve its UK store estate to better meet the changing needs of customers.

34 new Food stores* and two Clothing, Home and Food stores are planned to open in the next six months. The new stores include new Foodhalls in Bishopsgate (London, near Liverpool Street), Huntingdon, Aylesbury, Spinningfields (central Manchester) and Strood (Kent) and brand new locations for M&S with Clothing, Home and Food stores opening in Bracknell and Rushden in July.

Over 1,400 new customer assistant and management jobs will be created by the new shops.

Two Clothing, Home and Food stores will relocate this Summer in Crewe (from Market Street to the Grand Junction Retail Park) and Greenock (from Oak Mall to the Port Glasgow Retail Park).

M&S is also consulting with colleagues and their representatives over the proposed closure of six stores in Monks Cross (Simply Food store), Portsmouth, Slough, Warrington, Wokingham and Worksop (Simply Food store).

If the proposals go ahead, all 380 colleagues in the affected stores would be guaranteed redeployment at a near-by store.

Steve Rowe, Chief Executive of Marks & Spencer, said: “M&S stores will always be an integral part of our customer offer, working seamlessly alongside our website, M&S.com, to deliver great products and service to our customers. However, our customers’ shopping habits are changing. Picking up food for now or tonight rather than doing one big shop or browsing and shopping online and collecting in store are great examples of this and we are committed to adapting our business so that we stay in tune with our customers.

“This means there will be more M&S colleagues working in an increased number of convenient locations, serving more customers. It also means that we will open new stores, some will reduce in size, some will move, some will close and others will convert to Food-only. Each proposal we make will be very carefully considered with our colleagues and customers firmly front of mind. It is our intention that nobody leaves M&S and we will work as hard as possible to ensure that we can deliver against this promise.”

M&S announced its five-year UK store estate programme in November after a full review of its UK store portfolio. The plans will improve the M&S store estate to better meet customer needs and include opening 200 new Food-only stores and selling Clothing and Home from 60 fewer locations. The result will be more, conveniently located M&S stores but fewer, more inspirational Clothing and Home stores that offer customers better ranging and availability.

M&S currently has 959 UK stores – 304 full line stores, 615 Food-only stores and 40 Outlets.

Ends

Further information and new store images

Marks & Spencer Press Office, 0208 718 1919

corporate.press@marks-and-spencer.com

Notes to editors

* includes owned stores branded ‘M&S Foodhall’ and ‘M&S Simply Food’ and franchise stores branded ‘M&S Simply Food’ and ‘M&S Food To Go’. These stores are part of the previously announced 200 new stores opening by the end of 18/19.

Further detail on proposed closures

Store

Store type and location

Near-by stores

Monks Cross

Simply Food store located on Monks Cross Shopping Park

Clothing, Home and Food store on the Vangarde Retail Park (500 metres away)

Portsmouth

Clothing, Home and Food store located on the High Street

Gunwharf Quays (Outlet store less than a mile away), Havant (Clothing, Home and Food store seven-and-a-half miles away) and new planned Foodhall in Portsmouth’s Ocean Retail Park (two miles away) set to open early next year

Slough

Clothing, Home and Food store on the High Street

Bath Road (Simply Food store two-and-a-half miles away) and Windsor (Clothing, Home and Food store four miles away)

Warrington

Clothing, Home and Food store located in the Golden Square Shopping Centre

Gemini (Clothing, Home and Food store less than four miles away) and Stockton Heath (Foodhall less than two miles away)

Wokingham

Clothing, Home and Food store located on Peach Street

New Clothing, Home and Food store opening in Bracknell in July (four miles away)

Worksop

Simply Food store in The Priory Shopping Centre

New planned Foodhall opening in Retford next year (nine miles away)

SOURCE: Marks and Spencer plc

Marks & Spencer commissioned the RSPCA to audit every single M&S dairy farm to RSPCA Assured Standards

All 40 farms to be audited

RSPCA standard set to become minimum M&S requirement

LONDON, 2017-Apr-03 — /EPR Retail News/ — Marks & Spencer has today announced that it has commissioned the RSPCA to audit every single M&S dairy farm to RSPCA Assured Standards and committed to publishing the results on its website.

In a full announcement made today, Director of Food Andy Adcock confirmed that all 40 UK farms (known as the M&S Milk Pool) will be audited by RSPCA assessors as soon as possible.

The move comes in advance of the retailer adopting RSPCA Assured Standards as its minimum requirement which will see the farms assessed annually.

RSPCA Assured Standards are the highest welfare standards in the industry and cover all aspects of milk production including calf rearing, cow welfare, accommodation, health planning, transport, feed and grazing.

The farms will still be required to be Red Tractor Assured (the current minimum standard) and M&S will continue its own twice yearly Select Farm Assurance audits.

Andy Adcock, M&S Director of Food, said: This is a significant strengthening of our animal welfare standards. We are already recognised by leading animal charities but are always looking to improve and RSPCA Assured is the best in the business. Very few farms operate to that level of animal welfare and adoption of these standards will set M&S dairy farms apart – and thats what our customers want and expect from us.

The M&S Milk Pool was set up in 2000 to give M&S farmers the stability to enable them to invest for the future. At the time, it was an industry first and today has 40 farms spread across the UK delivering regionally sourced fresh milk into M&S stores and cafes.  M&S pays its pool farmers a price above the cost of production and one of the highest prices of any high-street store or supermarket.

Tim Lock, Chairman of the M&S Milk Pool and dairy farmer in West Sussex, said: We are proud of the standards that the M&S Milk Pool has worked to achieve over the past 17 years, but also we recognise that third-party endorsement strengthens our pool and provides a significant point of difference for our farmers. In addition to the pride we have in our standards, we take great pride in our cows who produce the fresh milk that M&S puts in front of its customers each day and we believe it is a great product that is the best in the business.

Ends

For further information please contact: 

Marks & Spencer press office, 0208 718 1919

SOURCE: Marks and Spencer plc

Marks & Spencer teams up with Ruby Wax to launch Frazzled Cafe in M&S stores

The number one bestselling author, comedian and leading mental health campaigner announces tie-up at London Book Fair

LONDON, 2017-Mar-15 — /EPR Retail News/ — Marks & Spencer has joined forces with number one bestselling author, comedian and leading mental health awareness campaigner Ruby Wax to launch Frazzled Cafe in M&S stores.

Announced today at London Book Fair, M&S Cafés will host fortnightly ‘talk-in’ sessions where people who are feeling ‘frazzled’ can meet to talk and share their personal stories in a safe, anonymous and non-judgmental environment.

11 M&S stores will be hosting Frazzled Cafe meetings over the next few months – with three in London alongside Brighton, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Cambridge, Nottingham, Leeds, Newcastle, Canterbury and Norwich – and more locations are set to be added throughout the year.

Taking place in M&S Cafés after hours and led by trained volunteer facilitators, Frazzled Cafe meetings are designed not just for the one-in-four Britons who will suffer a mental illness at some point, but for the four-in-four who are feeling frazzled and overwhelmed by the stresses of modern life.

Frazzled Cafe was successfully trialled in M&S offices and stores last year with the support of M&S as part of its Plan A eco and ethical initiative. The meetings are not therapy, their purpose is to provide a space where people can talk openly with others who understand how they are feeling – ‘a place where it’s ok, to not be ok’.

With the economic cost of mental health problems in the UK estimated at roughly £105 billion per year1 – equal to the entire National Health budget – and the UK rated the 7th highest nation in the Western world for prescribing antidepressants (four million annually)2 , there is a pressing need for both identifying ways to help people cope with overwhelming stress and reducing the stigma that is attached to discussing mental health. Studies3 have proven that one of the best ways to beat stress is to share your feelings and research4 has also shown that peer-support groups can yield significant improvement in psychiatric symptoms, resulting in decreased hospitalisation, larger social support networks and enhanced self-esteem. Ruby Wax herself has come across thousands of people who wanted to talk and feel connected during her sell-out book tours and theatre shows for A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled and Sane New World over the past five years. This is what inspired her to create Frazzled Cafe.

Ruby Wax, who announced the launch today at London Book Fair, said: “We live in a time where to have a life crammed to the hilt is considered a success story. But with all this pressure, so many of us have nowhere to go to meet and talk about it. Frazzled Cafe is about people coming together to share their stories, calmly sitting together, stating their case and feeling validated as a result. Feeling heard, to me, has always been half the cure.”

“It’s special to get a company like M&S on-board. I’m grateful for the set-up support they’ve given us and access to their café network is a huge boost.”

Sacha Berendji, Retail Director at Marks & Spencer, said: “Ruby’s Frazzled Cafe is a simple, pressure-free way of tackling what can be a taboo subject – feeling stressed. We hope that by providing free and calm venues after the café has closed, we can help any members of the community who simply need to talk about things and what’s happening in their lives.”

Frazzled Cafe is a not for profit and soon to be registered charity created by Ruby Wax and run by Elizabeth Morrison and Anna D’Onofrio. Its name is inspired by Ruby’s number one bestselling book A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled which is now available in paperback.

To sign-up to the Frazzled Cafe mailing list and find out more about the roll-out schedule or to register to attend a Frazzled Cafe please visit www.frazzledcafe.org.

¹As reported by the independent Mental Health Taskforce to the NHS in England, 2016
²The Health and Social Care Information Centre
³“Are You Feeling What I’m Feeling? Emotional Similarity Buffers Stress”: Social Psychological and Personality Science, vol. 5, 5: pp. 526-533, First Published December 17, 2013.
4Mental Health Foundation

Ends

For further information, please contact:
Fiona McMorrough and Annabel Robinson, Frazzled Cafe press office,
020 7405 7422
fionam@fmcm.co.uk  / annabelr@fmcm.co.uk
Daniel Himsworth, Marks & Spencer press office, 0208 718 1618
daniel.himsworth@marks-and-spencer.com

About Ruby Wax
Ruby has campaigned tirelessly to raise awareness about mental health issues, including speaking at Downing Street to raise money for neuroscience research. In 2013, she obtained a Master’s Degree in Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy from Oxford University to increase her understanding of the brain and used this knowledge as the basis for her books Sane New World: Taming the Mind and A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled both of which became Sunday Times number one bestsellers on publication. She was awarded an OBE for her services to mental health in the Honorary British Awards to Foreign Nationals in 2015.

She has become a leading speaker on mental issues including appearances at The Home Office, MI5, Apple, Goldman Sachs, KPMG, Merril Lynch, Bank of America, Downing Street, the House of Lords, Google, The Cabinet-Director Generals and TEDGlobal 2012, plus various UK National Health Trusts and charities.

The paperback edition of Ruby’s Sunday Times bestselling book, A Mindfulness Guide for the FRAZZLED, also a number one bestseller is out now priced at £8.99

Ruby Wax: Frazzled, her sell-out one-woman show, will be at Leicester Square Theatre in London for a month from 30th May-24th June 2017.  For further details visit www.rubywax.net/tour

Follow Ruby on twitter @RubyWax #Frazzled

About Plan A
Plan A is Marks & Spencer’s eco and ethical programme that tackles both today’s and tomorrow’s sustainable retail challenges. Launched in 2007, the plan has helped M&S send no waste to landfill, become carbon neutral and win over 200 industry awards. To find out more please visit the Plan A website – www.marksandspencer.com/plana.

SOURCE: Marks and Spencer plc

Marks & Spencer completes consultation and reaches agreement with its national employee representative group on pay, premiums and pension

LONDON, 2016-Sep-05 — /EPR Retail News/ — Marks & Spencer today (02 Sep 2016) announces that it has completed a thorough consultation with its national employee representative group (Business Involvement Group) on proposed changes to pay, premiums and pension and reached an agreement on a number of key issues.

Sacha Berendji, Marks & Spencer Retail Director said: “We’ve listened to our colleagues, acted on their feedback and are pleased that we’ve reached an outcome that gives enhanced support for our colleagues as well as making necessary changes to our business. From April 2017 our people will be amongst the highest paid in UK retail and receive one of the best benefits packages. The changes will reward our people in a fair and consistent way, simplify and modernize our business and help us attract and retain the best talent so we can continue to provide great service for our customers.”

John Dorrington, Chair of the Business Involvement Group, said: “On behalf of the Business Involvement Group, our elected employee representative body, we are satisfied that we have concluded a period of robust collective consultation where all views from across M&S have been strongly represented. In our view the business has listened carefully to all views and suggestions and as a result has made a number of key changes to the original proposals.”

Pay and premiums
The proposed pay increases and premium changes will go ahead. Customer Assistants will get a 14.7 per cent rise to £8.50 an hour (£9.65 in Greater London) from April 2017 and there will also be pay rises for Section Co-Ordinators and Section Managers. The Customer Assistant rate is significantly above the National Living Wage (£7.20) and above the wage campaigned for by the Living Wage Foundation (£8.25 outside London and £9.40 in London).

Premium payments will be simplified and made consistent across our UK retail employees, including removing premium payments for Sunday working and moving to one standard payment for Bank Holidays.

The vast majority of colleagues will receive higher pay as a result of the changes to pay and premiums, however a significantly improved additional offer means that all colleagues will either receive higher pay or have the opportunity to maintain their current pay level.

For two years, pay will be topped up to 2015/16 levels for any colleague that would receive lower total pay as a result of the premium changes. In 2019/20, any colleague that would still receive lower total pay compared to 2015/16 levels will receive an additional top up payment of 50% of their reduction in total pay and be offered guaranteed extra hours to make up the remaining 50%. The additional hours are optional and would be no more than three hours a week. The vast majority of colleagues in this group would only need to work an additional 45 minutes a week to make up their pay to 2015/16 levels.

In subsequent years an additional top up payment and guaranteed hours will be offered annually until a colleague’s pay reaches 2015/16 levels as a result of other potential changes to a colleague’s pay.

Pension
The proposed pension changes will also go ahead with active members of the M&S Defined Benefit scheme no longer earning new benefits in that scheme from April 2017 and being offered the chance to join the company’s Defined Contribution plan.

As part of the pension changes the company has agreed to extend the cash supplement support (offered as part of the proposals) for affected colleagues from two to three years. It will also maintain the death-in-service benefit at four times salary for members of the Defined Benefit scheme that choose not to enroll in the Defined Contribution plan. Additionally, after discussion with the company’s pension trustees, early retirement factors for all deferred members of the Defined Benefit scheme will be improved.

The outcome has been announced to colleagues today. There will be a series of briefings and the company will write directly to colleagues with details of the improved offer and what it means to them. Colleagues will only be eligible for the transition support if they agree to the changes.

The outcome of the three month consultation process has been approved by the Marks and Spencer Group plc Board and the changes will take effect from April 2017.

As referenced in M&S’s Prelims statement on the 25 May 2016, these changes are not expected to significantly impact on underlying costs in this or the next year financial year. However, there will be a non-underlying charge in the current financial year in the range of c.£100 m to £150 m. This non-underlying charge is largely driven by the Defined Benefit pension changes because when current active members become deferred members, the annual increase in their pensionable salary is linked to CPI as opposed to being capped at 1%.

For further information, please contact:

Corporate Press Office: 0208 718 1919
corporate.press@marks-and-spencer.com

Source: Marks & Spencer

Marks & Spencer reports of 1.3% increase in Group sales during the 13 weeks to 2nd July

LONDON, 2016-Jul-07 — /EPR Retail News/ —

 First quarter Total
Food sales1 +4.0% -0.9%
Clothing & Home sales1  -8.3% -8.9%
M&S.com sales (memo only) +0.5%
Total UK sales -1.1% -4.3%
International sales (constant currency)2 +0.7%
Group sales (reported) -0.4%
Group sales (constant currency) -0.9%

1 Timing of Easter had an adverse effect of 0.5% on Food and 0.8% on Clothing & Home sales growth.
2 International sales at reported currency were up 6.1%.

Steve Rowe, Chief Executive, said:

“A key part of our recovery plan for Clothing & Home is lowering prices and reducing promotions.  As a result, we ran fewer price promotions while continuing to lower prices to deliver real value to our customers, and moved the summer sale to July. We knew our actions would reduce total sales but we are seeing some encouraging early signs. Our Food business continues to strongly outperform a deflationary market, with LFL sales slightly down when adjusted for Easter timing.

“As highlighted in May, consumer confidence weakened in the run up to the EU referendum. While it is too early to quantify the implications of Brexit, we are confident that our strategic priorities and the actions we are taking remain the right ones to deliver results for our customers and our business.”

Group sales were down 0.4% in the 13 weeks to 2nd July.

Food sales rose by 4.0% with LFL sales down 0.9% of which 0.5% was due to Easter timing. We strongly outperformed the food market and continue to leverage our volume growth to reinvest in price. New Simply Food stores continue to perform ahead of our expectations.

Clothing & Home sales were down by 8.3% with LFL sales down by 8.9% in a weak market.  As planned, the summer sale began on 5th July, two weeks later than last year. We continued to reduce the number of promotional events during the quarter, including just one ‘cyber day’ compared with six last year.  We have repriced c.1,000 lines since January and are pleased with early results.  For lines repriced in Q4 we have seen strong sales growth.

International sales were up 0.7% at constant currency and rose 6.1% on a reported basis.

Full year guidance remains unchanged.  We continue to manage the business for the challenging market environment. We will update the market on strategy at our Interim results in November.

*First quarter sales in the current year are from 3 April 2016 to 2 July 2016 and are compared with 29 March 2015 to 27 June 2015, owing to last year’s 53 week financial year.

Statements made in this announcement that look forward in time or that express management’s beliefs, expectations or estimates regarding future occurrences and prospects are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the United States federal securities laws. These forward-looking statements reflect Marks & Spencer’s current expectations concerning future events and actual results may differ materially from current expectations or historical results. Any such forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties, including failure by Marks & Spencer to predict accurately customer preferences; decline in the demand for products offered by Marks & Spencer; competitive influences; changes in levels of store traffic or consumer spending habits; effectiveness of Marks & Spencer’s brand awareness and marketing programmes; general economic conditions or a downturn in the retail or financial services industries; acts of war or terrorism worldwide; work stoppages, slowdowns or strikes; and changes in financial and equity markets.

For further information, please contact: 

Investor Relations:

Fraser Ramzan+44 (0)20 8718 4625
Helen Cox+44 (0)20 8718 8491

Corporate Press Office:
+44 (0)20 8718 1919

Out of hours calls:
+44 (0)20 8718 2000

Investors & Analysts Conference Call:

The call will be hosted by Steve Rowe and Helen Weir at 8.15am on Thursday 7 July 2016:

Dial in number:
+44 (0)20 3427 1903

Access Code:
8243108

A recording of this call will be available until 17 July 2016:

Dial in number:
+44 (0)20 3427 0598

Source: Marks and Spencer

Marks & Spencer presented with 2016 NACS Insight International Convenience Retail Sustainability Award

LONDON, 2016-Jun-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — Marks & Spencer has won the 2016 NACS Insight International Convenience Retail Sustainability Award, sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company. The award was presented during the NACS Insight Convenience Summit – Europe awards dinner in London on June 9.

The award recognizes Marks & Spencer for its leadership in development and implementation of sustainable resource strategies that deliver greater operational efficiencies. The award is presented for work that has made a discernible impact, is replicable and will inspire other businesses to identify and implement sustainability initiatives of their own.

Marks & Spencer continues to demonstrate its commitment to its Plan A goals, anchored at the heart of the company’s corporate strategy. Plan A, Marks & Spencer’s ethical and environmental goals, was launched in 2007 as a 100 point, five-year plan. Having achieved its major goal of making its U.K. business carbon neutral, Marks & Spencer has introduced Plan A 2020, which consists of 100 new, revised and existing commitments, with the ultimate goal of becoming the world’s most sustainable major retailer. Public reporting on the attainment of Plan A goals, including any missed targets, makes Marks & Spencer’s sustainability strategy transparent and accessible both to the public and to the international retail industry, in a quantifiable format.

“A focus on sustainability not only helps protect our world and resources, it is also good for business,” said Ern Sherman, vice president of industry affairs for The Coca-Cola Company. “With this award, we are proud to recognize a retailer who shares our passion for making an enduring, positive difference for businesses and communities.”

“Marks & Spencer deserves this European sustainability accolade, commending the hard work by the company and its leadership to implement Plan A over the past nine years,” said Dan Munford, Managing Director of Insight. “The Marks & Spencer Plan A is an extremely impressive, measurable and inspiring sustainable business model that encourages other international retailers to consider similar types of initiatives.”

NACS President and CEO Henry Armour congratulated Marks & Spencer for its Plan A goals and focus on sustainable business solutions. “Marks & Spencer is a stellar example of sustainable and environmentally conscious best practices, and we are pleased that we have the opportunity to share Marks & Spencer’s endeavors with our global convenience retail community.”

Now in its third year, the NACS Insight Convenience Summit – Europe (conveniencesummit.com) brings together convenience and fuel retailing industry professionals from around the world to discuss new ideas and gain new commercial connections. This year’s event kicked off in Stockholm on June 5 and ends on June 11 in Dublin.

Note to editors: Images available upon request.

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Founded in 1961 as the National Association of Convenience Stores, NACS (nacsonline.com) is the international association for convenience and fuel retailing. The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 154,000 stores across the country, conducts 160 million transactions a day, sells 80% of the fuel purchased in the country and had total sales of $575 billion in 2015. NACS has 2,100 retail and 1,700 supplier member companies, which do business in nearly 50 countries.

Eco and Ethical Programme: Marks & Spencer releases its 2016 Plan A Report

2015/16 Plan A highlights

  • Charity donations help reduce food waste by 9%
  • Plastic microbeads removed to help protect marine life
  • Clothing and food suppliers detailed on interactive supply chain map
  • Only certified sustainable palm oil used in M&S products
  • Nearly three quarters of M&S products have an eco or ethical quality
  • 90% of Sparks card holders have chosen a charity to support and donations set to pass £1 million mark
  • Store and warehouse energy use down 39%, water use down 31%
  • First M&S Human Rights Report published

LONDON, 2016-Jun-09 — /EPR Retail News/ — Marks & Spencer today reports more good progress on Plan A, its eco and ethical programme, in its 2016 Plan A Report. A further 22 commitments were achieved in 2015/16 and good progress was made in engaging its 32 million customers in Plan A.

The first report under new CEO Steve Rowe pledges to go even further on customer engagement by putting the customer at the heart of the plan.

Steve Rowe, Marks & Spencer’s Chief Executive said: “We are putting customers right at the heart of our business. That includes Plan A as much as any other part of our business and that’s why Plan A is now part of our customer and marketing team. It is a crucial part of how we engage with our customers, gain their trust and make every moment special for them. We know that Plan A is a win-win approach – a simpler, more efficient, less wasteful business is better for the planet and our bottom line – so we’ll chase that even harder.”

Highlights from the new report include nearly three quarters (73%) of all M&S products now have an eco or ethical quality (up from 64% last year) notable progress on improving UK and Ireland store and warehouse energy efficiency (energy use down 39%) and water efficiency (water use down 31%) and several firsts including the launch of an interactive supply chain map and the publication of the M&S Human Rights report.

Mike Barry, Director of Sustainable Business at Marks & Spencer, said: “2015 was an important year for sustainable business and Plan A. Yet again we’ve achieved tough and stretching targets. The successful Paris Climate negotiations and the launch of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals have created a long-term direction of travel for the global economy and companies need a bold vision and comprehensive plan to make sure they are aligned with these important agreements. Under Steve’s leadership we’ll continue to play our part and crucially put the customer at the heart of everything we do, nurturing the strong trust they have in us and inspiring them with new and innovative solutions to more sustainable living that feels personal and local to them.”

2015/16 Plan A highlights in more detail

Charity donations help reduce food waste by 9%

Food waste reduced by 9% per 1,000 sq ft of food selling space, achieved through improved systems leading to better sales estimation and the nationwide roll out of an unsold food redistribution scheme with social network Neighbourly.com. The scheme has seen M&S owned stores work with 500 charities such as food banks and community cafes.

Plastic microbeads removed to help protect marine life

Plastic microbeads from wash-off personal care products were removed in April 2015, almost a year ahead of the 2016 Plan A target. Plastic microbeads are harmful to marine life and end up in our oceans when washed into the water system.

Clothing and food suppliers detailed on interactive supply chain map

Customers and stakeholders can now see where M&S clothing and home products are made and food products are produced on the M&S supply chain interactive map.  690 clothing and home and 540 Food suppliers are listed.

Only certified sustainable palm oil used in M&S products

All palm oil used in M&S products in 2015/16 was Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certified. 99% was a mix of segregated and mass balance (last year 82%), with the remaining one per cent covered by the purchase of GreenPalm certificates to encourage the transition to sustainable supplies (last year 18%).

Nearly three quarters of M&S products have an eco or ethical quality

73% of M&S products sold (based on volume) had at least one Plan A quality above and beyond the market norm in 2015/16 (64% in 2014/15). Examples include the UNICEF shopping bag made from up-cycled hotel linen, the Limited London clothing collection made from sustainable fabrics in eco factories and the launch of Active Health – cholesterol lowering prepared meals.

90% of Sparks card holders have chosen a charity to support and donations set to pass £1 million mark 

90% of customers that hold a Sparks membership card have chosen one of nine charities to support. M&S donates a penny to the customer’s chosen charity every time they shop at M&S and donations are set to pass the £1 million mark next week (week commencing 13th June). Charities benefitting include Macmillan Cancer Support, Great Ormond Street and Shelter.

Store and warehouse energy use down 39%, water use down 31%

Total energy use across UK and Ireland stores, warehouses and offices was down 39% and water use was down 31% (both figures against a 2006/07 baseline) as continued investment in technology and people engagement paid dividend.

First M&S Human Rights Report published 

In recognition of the growing, global focus on Human Rights and the role business plays in protecting them, M&S has joined the UN Global Compact and today published its first ever Human Rights Report. The report outlines M&S’ approach to respecting human rights both within its own business operations and throughout its supply chain.

Plan A in numbers

Plan A in numbers

For the full report please visit – http://corporate.marksandspencer.com/

– Ends –

Further information
Corporate media enquiries
Daniel Himsworth, Marks & Spencer Press Office, 0208 718 1618
daniel.himsworth@marks-and-spencer.com 

###

Plan A Ambassador Joanna Lumley with Sparks card

Plan A Ambassador Joanna Lumley with Sparks card

Marks & Spencer announces new management structure and changes to responsibilities of the Executive Directors

LONDON, 2016-May-12 — /EPR Retail News/ — Marks & Spencer today announces a series of changes designed to simplify its management structure in order to drive speedier decision making and move the business closer to its customers.

As part of this there have been some changes to responsibilities of the Executive Directors.
 
Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne becomes Executive Director of Customer, Marketing & M&S.com, and assumes new responsibilities for M&S.com and Plan A. Consequently, the International business now reports to the CEO, Steve Rowe.
 
Helen Weir, Chief Finance Officer, assumes responsibility for Strategy Implementation.
 
As already stated, Laura Wade-Gery will be on maternity leave until September. We look forward to welcoming her back and will update on her responsibilities on her return.
 
Operating Committee
M&S is also establishing a new Operating Committee that will be accountable for the day-to-day running of the business as well as for the development and execution of strategy.
 
On the Operating Committee, the Executive Directors will be joined by the Directors of Food (Andy Adcock); Womenswear, Lingerie & Beauty (Jo Jenkins); Retail (Sacha Berendji); International (Paul Friston); Communications & Investor Relations (Dominic Fry); Human Resources (Simmone Haywood); and the Group Secretary & Head of Corporate Governance (Amanda Mellor).
 
Steve Rowe, M&S CEO, said: “On my first day as CEO, I committed to putting M&S customers at the heart of everything we do. These changes reflect this; a simpler management structure with a smaller, more focused team running M&S will lead to more efficient decision making and move us closer to our customers.
 
“The new Operating Committee will be working together to improve M&S, starting with fixing our Clothing & Home offer for our customers, our employees and our shareholders.”
 
– Ends –
 
For further information, please contact: 
Corporate Press Office: +44 (0)20 8718 1919
Out of hours calls: +44 (0)20 8718 2000

All fishing boats supplying Marks & Spencer to be certified by Responsible Fishing Scheme (RFS) by 2021

  • All fishing vessels supplying M&S to be RFS certified by 2021
  • All UK vessels to be certified by 2017*
  • Scheme promotes best-practice on crew welfare and responsible catching practices

LONDON, 2016-Apr-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — Marks & Spencer (M&S) today announces an industry leading commitment to help promote best practice welfare and environmental standards in the fishing industry.

The aim is for all fishing boats supplying M&S to be certified by the Responsible Fishing Scheme (RFS) by 2021, or be actively engaged in a time bound plan to achieve RFS certification. This applies worldwide, however UK boats will be required to gain the certificate or be actively engaged by the end of 2017.

M&S is the first retailer to make a worldwide commitment of this kind.

Andy Adcock, Director of Food at Marks & Spencer, said: “We’re passionate about being a responsible retailer. We only buy fish from the most sustainable sources, a commitment we’ve worked tirelessly on for almost 20 years, and this pledge means our customers can shop with us knowing we’ve done everything possible to protect the marine environment and those working in our fish supply chain.”

The Seafish RFS scheme is the only scheme of its kind in the industry. It provides tangible evidence that the seafood caught by a fishing boat has been responsibly caught and handled and the boat has the highest standards on crew welfare, fair pay, health and safety and human rights.

Tom Pickerell, Technical Director at Seafish, said: “The commitment from M&S is another huge boost for RFS and it further marks the intent of the UK seafood industry to be recognised worldwide for its work on reducing social and welfare issues.

“There is a collective call for seafood to be socially responsible as well as environmentally sustainable and as a result we are working with fishermen at the heart of that supply chain to demonstrate adherence to best practice in crew welfare.”

RFS is a voluntary scheme and both the fishing boat and the training and welfare of its crew must meet RFS standards for a vessel to be certified. Once the boat owner and its skipper have applied for certification they are audited by an independent certification body.

Boats and their skipper(s) have to demonstrate best practice in five areas:

  • Safety, health and welfare;
  • Training and professional development;
  • The vessel and its mission (ensuring all legislation and voluntary agreements that apply to its fishing area, catch and gear type are followed);
  • Care of the catch (including provenance, traceability and high hygiene standards)
  • Care for the environment (including management of litter).

Anyone looking to find out more about RFS should visit the Seafish website – http://www.seafish.org/rfs/.

– Ends –

For further information please contact 

Daniel Himsworth, Marks & Spencer press office, 0208 718 1919

daniel.himsworth@marks-and-spencer.com

@mandspress

Denise Fraser, Seafish, 0131 524 8656

denise.fraser@seafish.co.uk

Notes to editors

* Or actively engaged in a time bound plan to achieve certification.

Further detail on the five areas vessels and skippers have to demonstrate best practice on to become RFS certified –

Safety, health and welfare

  • A commitment to generating a culture of integrity and respect (e.g. no forced labour) will be demonstrated;
  • Requirements established also draw from other relevant safety management and ethical and welfare initiatives to improve safety of the crew and promote decent working conditions.

Training and professional development

  • Covers accessible training for the key priority areas, especially safety;
  • Focus is on improving skills, knowledge and understanding;
  • Commitment to raise standards, open up new opportunities and cooperate with management authorities.

The vessel and its mission

  • Statement detailing vessel’s mission (e.g. fishing area, catch focus, gear type etc.);
  • The vessel and its gear are in compliance with all current legislation;
  • All legal with the right documentation in place;
  • Full cooperation with voluntary agreements in existence in the fishery.

Care of the catch

  • Focus on supplying safe, high quality, wholesome product with known provenance;
  • Hygienic handling and storage at appropriate temperatures;
  • Full traceability from catch to quayside;
  • Responsible capture & landing of live products;
  • Commitment to maintaining the value of the catch.

Care for the environment

  • Responsible practice & respecting the environment (management of litter, lost fishing gear recovery, wildlife interaction records);
  • Supporting fishery science (e.g. observers, science partnerships etc.);
  • Tie-in with other voluntary schemes.

About Plan A

Plan A is Marks & Spencer’s eco and ethical programme that tackles both today’s and tomorrow’s sustainable retail challenges. Launched in 2007, the plan has helped M&S send no waste to landfill, become carbon neutral and win over 200 industry awards. To find out more please visit the Plan A website – www.marksandspencer.com/plana.

About Seafish

Seafish was founded in 1981 by an Act of Parliament and aims to support all sectors of the seafood industry for a sustainable, profitable and socially responsible future. It is the only pan-industry body offering services to all parts of the industry, from the start of the supply chain at catching and aquaculture; through processing, importers, exporters and distributors of seafood right through to restaurants and retailers.

Seafish is funded by a levy on the first sale of seafood landed in the UK. Its services are intended to support and improve the environmental sustainability, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the industry, as well as promoting sustainably-sourced seafood. These services include technical research and development, responsible sourcing initiatives, economic consulting, market research, industry accreditation, safety training for fishermen and legislative advice.

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Marks & Spencer and Alexa Chung launches new collection Archive by Alexa

LONDON, 2016-Apr-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — Archive by Alexa brings together a modern icon of British style Alexa Chung, and a long standing icon of the British high street, Marks & Spencer.

This is a unique approach to a collaboration. Using the rich and extensive Marks & Spencer Company Archive in Leeds*, Alexa and the M&S design team have embarked on a journey of rediscovery.

The collection includes pieces from the forties through to the noughties. From timeless pieces like the Frances trench coat in luxe olive, taken from an original fifties gabardine trench; to quirky style statements, like the vivid paisley print Eliza dress, a remastered apron from the fifties. Creating a rich and eclectic aesthetic with an air of the nostalgic.

The supporting campaign shot by photographer Tom Craig, sees Alexa herself taking creative ownership of the mood and direction. Alexa uses her unique styling ability and aspirational aesthetic to reproduce these heritage pieces afresh; paving the way for a wholly unique and exciting collaboration.

The 31 piece womenswear collection has been carefully curated and handpicked by Alexa and the M&S design team. Bringing archive pieces back to life for 2016 using Alexa’s unique approach to style. Through introducing modern fabrications and an updated colour palette, a contemporary womenswear collection is defined with a heritage sensibility.

Click here to download pdf press release with collection images.

Alexa Chung comments;

“I have always had an affection for Marks & Spencer. I am thrilled to be part of this special and unique project. There was something very touching about looking back through the British fashion and social history for which M&S is synonymous”.

Belinda Earl, Style Director for Marks & Spencer comments;

“Working closely alongside Alexa on this project was such an exciting way to develop a collection as it was more about rediscovery than design. We were physically able to look back through the decades and redefine the aesthetic of this collection; toying with influences from the forties, sixties, eighties and even the present day; highlighting how timeless and relevant style and quality can be”.

Steve Rowe, CEO for Marks & Spencer comments;

“It was a hugely insightful experience allowing Alexa full access to our Company Archive. Marks & Spencer’s history is vast and quality design has always been paramount; therefore using our expertise and classic designs and Alexa’s unique eye and approach to style, our collaboration was born. A new womenswear collection, curated by Alexa, with heritage firmly at its heart”.

This project is the first of the ‘M&S &’ series**. A sequence of unique, exclusive collections in collaboration with some of today’s most exciting designers, brands & fashion icons.

The 31 piece Archive By Alexa collection is available in 66 selected stores, internationally and online at www.marksandspencer.com

Prices range from £19.50 for the Ruth vest two pack, to £89 for the Frances trench coat.

For more information and imagery please contact:

Jessica Harris, Head of PR, Womenswear & Lingerie
Jessica.Harris@marksandspencer.com

Rachel Reynolds, Senior Press Officer
Rachel.Reynolds@marksandspencer.com

Lauren Jenkins, Press Officer
Lauren.Jenkins@marksandspencer.com

#ARCHIVEBYALEXA

* The M&S Company Archive based at Leeds University is one of the richest retail history collections in the country, the Archive collection charts our journey over more than 130 years, from Penny Bazaar to international multichannel retailer.

The M&S Company Archive was founded in 1984, to mark the 100th year of the company and since then, the archive team has worked to collect, catalogue and make available for use, all kinds of records of Marks & Spencer’s past.

The M&S Company Archive is an asset of over 70,000 historical items and acts to collect, preserve and utilise material relating to all aspects of our history and development as a company.

The diverse collection of items dates from the start of the company in 1884 and includes written records, staff publications, photographs and films, garments and household products, design and advertising material among many other valued artefacts.

** Marks & Spencer. A partnership founded on style & craftsmanship. We’ve always known the power of two. That’s why we’re proud to pair our unique M&S heritage with talented names across the globe, from iconic leaders of fashion to exciting new designers. Their vision & our story. That’s M&S &.

 

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Marks & Spencer and Alexa Chung launches new collection Archive by Alexa

Marks & Spencer and Alexa Chung launches new collection Archive by Alexa

Marks & Spencer updates on the industry-wide campylobacter challenge

LONDON, 2015-11-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — Marks & Spencer has today updated its case study on tackling the industry-wide campylobacter challenge.  The update includes test results from November 2014 to October 2015.

To view the case study click here.

For further information, please contact:

Corporate Press Office
0208 718 1919

SOURCE: Marks and Spencer plc

Marks & Spencer unveils its 2015 Christmas campaign

LONDON, 2015-11-10 — /EPR Retail News/ — Marks & Spencer (M&S) has today unveiled its plans for Christmas 2015 – putting a fresh, festive twist on its popular The Art of and Adventures In formats1 to deliver food & fashion campaigns that celebrate the many moments that make up Christmas.

In a move away from the Christmas ad epic, the M&S 2015 campaign is a series of seven stylish, shorter ads that synchronize with the different milestones on the festive calendar. From the party season to the joy and exhaustion of Christmas morning, M&S products take centre stage to show how the retailer has each of these moments covered, from tinsel to tuxedos to turkey.

Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, Executive Director of Marketing & International at M&S said; “Customers tell us they experience Christmas as a series of mini-moments and emotions, and each moment matters in building that bigger sense of occasion. As a result, our approach is more box-set than blockbuster epic; as we wanted to capture that feeling of anticipation and create an upbeat campaign that moves with the pace of the season and shows how M&S can help make each moment special”

The 2015 Christmas campaign will be the most digitally focussed to date. In a break with tradition, M&S will not debut its ad on social or TV channels but will instead preview its campaign to the two million members of its new membership club Sparks. Each member will receive an email with The Art of Christmas compilation film this afternoon ahead of the 5pm go live on M&S.com and social channels.

The Art of Christmas
The Art of Christmas campaign kicks off with an upbeat compilation film that takes the audience through the full series of Christmas moments. The sophisticated, theatrical style sees each moment played out in a larger than life manner, with oversized props, choreographed sequences and a sprinkling of festive nostalgia.

Seen from the perspective of wide eyed eight year old Neve, the screen erupts into The Art of Making an Entrance and models strut their stuff in an array of glittering partywear. The scene switches to The Art of the Night Before, as parents put the finishing touches in place, but 5am soon heralds the arrival of The Art of Noise, as children wake on Christmas morning and bounce on their oversized beds. In The Art of Surprise three beautifully wrapped giant presents spill open to reveal the recipients inside and Neve jumps for joy at her cuddly polar bear. The Art of The Feast pans through a sumptuous banquet packed with exquisite festive food and chattering relatives. Finally, the perennial Christmas image of Morecombe & Wise dances onto the screen, as the family settle into their supersized sofa for The Art of 40 Winks.

Catering for customers’ appetite for bite sized consumption of content, M&S will air 20” edits of The Art of Making an Entrance, The Art of Noise and The Art of Surprise in tune with consumers’ shifting priorities. For example, The Art of Making an Entrance will air in mid to late November as party invitations firm up and outfit planning is in full swing.

Adventures In Christmas
Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne commented, “Customers’ festive culinary experience is no longer focused on just the Christmas Day feast. Adventures In Christmas reflects our desire to inject more gourmet inspiration into the season’s calendar.”

Adventures In Christmas kicks off with a compilation film of delicious food moments; Adventures In Surprises, Adventures In Stars, Adventures In Glitz and Adventures In The Big Day. Each culinary moment has been edited into 20” and 30” formats to showcase what is special and different about M&S food. The cutting edge style brings M&S’ innovative creations to life with close up shots of the mouth-watering ingredients and exquisite festive details.

The four ads will run in stages from the 15th November right up to 23rd December to provide inspiration for the different food moments – beginning with Adventures in Surprises to assist with party planning and culminating with Adventures In the Big Day.

From 5pm tonight, customers can shop The Art of Christmas on M&S.com and view the ad on M&S social channels #TheArtofChristmas. The ad will air on Sunday 8th November during the series finale of Downton Abbey on ITV1.  Adventures In Surprises will preview to Sparks customers on the 13th November before the campaign begins on TV from Sunday 15th November.

– ENDS –

For further information, multimedia content or product information please contact:

M&S Corporate Press Office: 0208 718 1919
Email: corporate.press@marks-and-spencer.com

Notes to Editors

1. Over the last 18 months, M&S has established two strong creative concepts covering its Fashion and Food businesses – each with a distinctive contemporary style.

  • Adventures In launched in September 2014 to support M&S’ Food business
  • The Art of launched in September 2015 covering M&S’ Clothing & Home business

M&S has given a festive makeover to the hero tracks used for each format. The Art of Christmas features a brand new edit of Mark Ronson’s chart topping Uptown Funk and Clean Bandit has recorded a 30 piece orchestral version of its hit Rather Be at the legendary Abbey Road studios to accompany Adventures In Christmas.

Production Information:

  • The Art of Christmas campaign was produced by Ridley Scott Associates. The production designer was Joseph Bennett, who also designed Alexander McQueen’s fashion shows and his retrospective Savage Beauty in New York and at the London V&A
  • Adventures In is directed and produced by Paris based food film makers Michael Roulier & Phillipe Lhomme of Food Film.

2. Sparks
Launched on 22nd October SPARKS – is M&S new Members Club – designed to convert customers into members who will be rewarded with more from M&S.  Through SPARKS, M&S is able to offer an extensive range of lifestyle benefits across food, fashion, home and beauty. On joining, SPARKS members are encouraged to share their interests to ensure their personal benefits reflect what they enjoy most. SPARKS has been designed as a fun and interactive experience, as members collect sparks in three key ways allowing them to regularly unlock new and exciting benefits.

Customers can collect Sparks

  • Each time they shop: 10 sparks for every purchase
  • Every time they spend: 10 sparks for every £1 spent
  • Each time they engage: 25 sparks for a product review or 50 sparks when you Shwop

SPARKS benefits

  • Tailor-made offers: As soon as members join, they receive a welcome offer – this could include a 10% discount on a department or a free beauty product when you buy lingerie. A tailor-made selection of offers is then sent every fortnight to choose from and, as members build more sparks they can unlock up to four tailor-made offer slots at one time.
  • Priority access: At 3,000 sparks members can begin to unlock priority access, giving members a first preview of new season ranges or the chance to shop the M&S.com sale 24 hours in advance at 5,000 sparks.
  • Exclusive events: 14,000 unlocks special invitation only events and masterclasses – from food tasting to exclusive shopping evenings with catwalk shows and at 17,000 members enter into money can’t buy experience draws – such as a trip to an M&S South African vineyard to winning your Christmas Day on M&S.
  • And every time a customer shops M&S will donate a penny to the member’s chosen charity, selected at registration.

SOURCE: Marks and Spencer plc

Marks & Spencer and Breast Cancer Now plan to prevent 9,000 cases of breast cancer a year by 2025

Marks & Spencer and Breast Cancer Now unveil plans to help prevent 9,000 cases of breast cancer a year by 2025

LONDON, 2015-9-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — Marks & Spencer (M&S) today launches a new partnership with Breast Cancer Now which aims to raise £13 million over the next five years in a bid to prevent 9,000 cases of breast cancer a year by 2025. This will play a part in Breast Cancer Now’s wider goal to reduce 30 per cent of cases of breast cancer by 2050.

To kick off the partnership a new social media campaign #ShowYourStrap will call upon M&S customers to take to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to show support for the battle against breast cancer, by posting a selfie showing their bra strap. Nominations of friends and family to do the same will be encouraged, along with donating £3 to Breast Cancer Now via text.

From tomorrow and throughout October M&S stores nationwide and M&S.com will promote the partnership and stock a range of exclusive lingerie – including a post-surgery bra with specifically developed features for women who have undergone surgery – fragrance and flowers that will include a donation to Breast Cancer Now. M&S’ biggest store, Marble Arch on Oxford Street, will turn pink for October.

The money raised by the partnership will help Breast Cancer Now’s scientists discover a way to calculate an individual woman’s risk of developing breast cancer. It is hoped this vital research will lead to the development of a risk assessment tool in the future that will better inform women of the options available to them based on their own, personal risk of breast cancer.

Currently, women in the UK have an average one in eight chance of developing breast cancer in their lifetime and only women considered ‘high risk’ because of their family history are entitled to additional check-ups and preventative options, which may help them reduce this risk. However, there is no such thing as an average woman and the development of a risk prediction tool for all women to use would mean many more could benefit from tailored risk reduction advice in the future.

Jo Jenkins, Director of Womenswear, Lingerie and Beauty at M&S says: “This is a campaign that will have a direct impact on the fight against breast cancer and it is a cause that matters to our customers. Over the past 14 years, together with our customers, we’ve raised over £20 million for Breakthrough Breast Cancer, now Breast Cancer Now, and we’re now making it even easier for our customers to get involved and donate to this amazing cause.”

Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive of Breast Cancer Nowi says: “One woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every 10 minutes in the UK. While our Generations Study – which M&S has played an integral part in helping to fund – has already given us unprecedented insight into the causes of breast cancer, we still don’t know enough about how these different factors interact and what this means for an individual woman. The continuing research that M&S and its customers will help make possible will enable our scientists to take that all-important next step to ultimately start preventing the disease, sparing women and their loved ones the fear and uncertainty breast cancer can cause.”

Research previously conducted by Breast Cancer Now  revealed that 82 per centii of women surveyediii agreed that, if it were possible, they would want to use this tool to find out their individual risk of developing breast cancer if it was offered free by the NHS. Further researchiv to find out why women would want to be told their risk was mixed and prompted multiple considerations from many, including 45 per cent agreeing they would want to know for peace of mind; 38 per cent to feel more in control of their health; and 38 per cent to make an informed choice on whether they should change their lifestyle.

However, despite the desire for women to find out their own risk of developing breast cancer, only 23 per centv claim to be ‘very aware’ of what factors can increase risk of the disease.

While helping to fund important research into breast cancer prevention, the five-year initiative will also include a wellbeing programme to share the most up to date advice on what more general steps women can take now to help reduce the risk of breast cancer, such as maintaining a healthy weight.

The partnership between M&S and Breast Cancer Now is part of Spark Something Good, which aims to get employees and customers involved in Plan A (M&S’ eco and ethical programme). Launched in July this year, customers and employees can get involved by volunteering in their community, Shwopping old clothes or donating to local and national causes, including supporting the battle against breast cancer.

– Ends –

Notes to Editors

For further information / interviews / images:

Vishal Rana vishal@hellounity.com 020 7440 9810
Robyn Swan robyn@hellounity.com 020 7440 9810

On social:

#ShowYourStrap
Twitter: @marksandspencer
Facebook: www.facebook.com/MarksandSpencer
Instagram: @marksandspencer

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 1,067 women, of which 1,059 don’t have/ have never had breast cancer. Fieldwork was undertaken between 16th-17th September 2015.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK women (aged 18+).

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2,074 adults, of which, 1,017 were women who agreed to take part in the survey. Fieldwork was undertaken between 3rd – 4th September 2014. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

About Plan A
Plan A is Marks & Spencer’s sustainable business plan that tackles both today’s and tomorrow’s sustainable retail challenges. Launched in 2007, the plan is focused on customer, employee and supplier engagement and includes commitments that tackle issues such as climate change, waste, raw materials, health and being a fair partner.

About Breast Cancer Now

  • Breast Cancer Now is the UK’s largest breast cancer charity;
  • Breast Cancer Now’s ambition is that by 2050 no one will die from breast cancer. The charity is determined to stop women dying from the disease, working in a new, collaborative way and bringing together all those affected by the disease to fund research, share knowledge and find answers;
  • M&S has worked with Breast Cancer Now (via its heritage charity Breakthrough Breast Cancer) since 2001. During this time, M&S has raised £20 million for the charity’s cutting-edge research, including the Generations Study, a study following more than 113,000 UK women over 40 years to help better understand the causes of breast cancer;
  • Breast Cancer Now’s world class research is focused entirely on breast cancer. The charity supports nearly 450 of the world’s brightest researchers at more than 20 locations across the UK and Ireland. Together, they’re working to discover how to prevent breast cancer, how to detect it earlier and how to treat it effectively at every stage so we can stop the disease taking lives;
  • Breast cancer is still the most common cancer in the UK. Nearly 700,000 people living in the UK have experienced a diagnosis and one in eight women will face it in their lifetime. This year alone, more than 50,000 women will be told they have the disease;
  • The UK still has one of the lowest breast cancer survival rates in Western Europe and this year alone nearly 12,000 women will lose their lives. It’s time to act;
  • Breast Cancer Now launched in June 2015, created by the merger of leading research charities Breast Cancer Campaign and Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

For more information on Breast Cancer Now’s work visit breastcancernow.orgor follow us on Twitter or on Facebook.

i As Breakthrough Breast Cancer in 2014

ii Research conducted by YouGov on September 2014 – 1,082 representative panel size; secondary research conducted by YouGov on September 2015 – 1,067 representative panel size
iii Women who agreed to take part in the survey
iv Sample excluded women who have/had ever had breast cancer
v Sample excluded women who have/had ever had breast cancer
SOURCE: Marks and Spencer plc

Kingfisher: survey across Europe shows 85 per cent support for better laws that ensure the legality of wood products on the market

LONDON, 2015-9-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — Kingfisher plc, in conjunction with over 60 other timber-related business and seven trade federations, has signed an industry statement to secure measures to make the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) fully effective across the EU. Timber is an essential raw material for our business, used in up to 40% of the products we sell. All of our responsibly sourced timber is independently audited by recognised certification schemes, like FSC and PEFC. We’ve reached 92% responsibly sourced timber in the products we sell and we’re working towards 100%. WWF’s press release is below, along with a link to the Industry Statement on the right hand side of this page.

Consumers and industry want tighter EU rules to tackle illegal timber

A survey of consumers across Europe shows high support (85 per cent) for better laws that ensure the legality of wood products on the market. Major timber-related businesses in Europe, from producers to retailers, have also signed a new statement to the European Commission calling for the EU to tighten the current rules on illegal timber use.

The EU Timber Regulation, or EUTR, is designed to keep illegally sourced timber out of the marketplace, and is under review by the European Commission in Brussels.

A poll commissioned by WWF in nine countries (UK, Germany, Italy, France, Sweden, Netherlands, Portugal, Belgium and Romania) showed that three quarters of the respondents did not know products made from illegal timber could still be bought in the EU. 85 per cent said it was important to them that measures be put in place to make sure people couldn’t buy products made from illegal wood.

A similarly high number (82 per cent) wanted the EU to implement the law more consistently across EU nations, and 78 per cent thought the laws should cover all wood-based products. Currently, the EUTR does not include items such as chairs, toys, books, musical instruments, charcoal, wine racks, clothes pegs, and many more.

In a statement issued to the European Commission, 63 timber-related companies and seven trade federations say that not only does illegal logging ‘pose a significant threat to global forest resources, it also contributes to deforestation, causes loss of biodiversity and erodes the rule of law’. The signatories want sufficient resources made available to enforce the regulation consistently across the EU and a coherent approach towards its interpretation.

WWF has been working to raise awareness of the further measures needed to make the EUTR fully effective, and welcomes the industry support at a time when the legislation could be improved.

Anke Schulmeister, senior forest policy officer at WWF’s European Policy Office, said “We are pleased to see this business and public support for a stronger regulation, and the drive for the law to include all products that could be made using illegal timber. Currently less than half (by value) of the products entering the EU are covered by the EUTR.”

“Deforestation and habitat destruction continues, and illegal timber can end up in our books, toys and chairs. We must act now, during this review of the laws, to ensure we protect our forests.”

Ends

Kingfisher and the Timber Retail Coalition

Kingfisher, IKEA, Marks & Spencer and Carrefour formed the Timber Retail Coalition (TRC) in support of measures to curb illegally harvested timber and to ensure that EU regulations are effective and workable. TRC members believe that customers of timber and timber products want to know that the wood they buy is legal, responsibly sourced and sustainable.  Its members have come together to raise awareness of the need for clear and workable practices to be in place so that customers can be confident this is the case.  These practices should be based on a combination of voluntary and statutory arrangements.

The TRC will campaign at all levels of government in the EU to ensure that regulation is both effective and workable.  It will also engage with other companies which use timber and with relevant Non-Governmental Organisations. TRC members have worked together in support of the introduction of European Union-wide regulation based on market-proven ‘Due Diligence’ mechanisms, with a robust compliance and enforcement regime in place, to ensure minimum ethical standards for all timber and wood products sold in the EU.

Although the TRC companies already implement extensive voluntary measures, appropriate legislation will help to create a more level playing field in the supply chain and marketplace.

SOURCE:  Kingfisher plc

Marks & Spencer joined forces with Joanna Lumley to launch new initiative Spark Something Good

LONDON, 2015-8-3— /EPR Retail News/ — Marks & Spencer (M&S) has today joined forces with Joanna Lumley to launch Spark Something Good. The new initiative aims to inspire and motivate employees and customers around the country to grab a shovel, pick up a paintbrush and take action for social good – donating time to their local communities to improve lives up and down the country.

Today in London, M&S, its customers and employees, along with members of local communities, will be completing 24 community projects around the capital in 24 hours. Led by Joanna and CEO Marc Bolland, the company aims to spark its 34 million customers into action by showing just what can be achieved in just one day when people come together united by a common goal.

Projects set to be completed within 24 hours include the transformation of an unused central London rooftop into a colourful children’s play area, renovating a community farmyard, providing a new dining room for a busy soup kitchen and the planting of an edible garden. Projects include St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington and Brixton Soup Kitchen.

The launch will kick off projects in a further 24 towns and cities across the UK and Ireland over the next 24 months.

A newly created Spark Something Good website –www.marksandspencer.com/getinvolved – has been developed in partnership with the social network for social good, Neighbourly.com. The site shows the local fundraising and volunteering opportunities that every one of M&S’ owned stores are involved in. Every store has chosen a local charity of the year to fundraise for and support, meaning customers who can’t volunteer time or skills have the opportunity to make a difference in the community through donations in store.

The site incorporates project information from the Neighbourly.com social network which acts as a matchmaking service between local projects and people who want to help. M&S is a founding partner of Neighbourly.com.

Connecting with this wider network enables M&S customers and employees to get involved with their local community, from spending time with the elderly, to renovating community facilities, it will enable them to take part in positive action in their own backyard. Through the digital platform people will also be empowered to promote their own community projects and in doing so find new sources of funding and collaboration partners to make a difference in the communities they live and work in.

M&S developed Spark Something Good following extensive research and dialogue which revealed that getting involved in community projects enhanced people’s lives.

Joanna Lumley, M&S Spark Something Good ambassador, comments: “This isn’t just about today or even tomorrow. It’s about the cumulative effect of people giving back to their community over time. We want to make people happy and spark a relay of good deeds across the nation and we need your help now! The potential is simply enormous.

“People tell us they’d like to support local charities and they want to give hands-on help and see lives being changed. Donating time is just as valuable as giving money and is often more rewarding.”

Marc Bolland, Marks & Spencer CEO, said: “M&S people and customers have always helped in their local community, by working together we know we can achieve even more by volunteering or making a donation to a charity that matters locally. We know the positive impact it can have and that a healthy high street needs a healthy community to support it. That’s why we’re making it easy to get involved and asking our people and customers to Spark Something Good.”

Nick Davies, Founder of Neighbourly adds: “Finding community projects and matching them to people willing to help has always been difficult. We have worked with Marks & Spencer to bring the latest digital technology to empower the public to get involved with community projects on their own doorsteps. Anyone can take part and importantly it’s about people with energy, good ideas and vision. You don’t need to be a formal charity to get your idea off the ground. You just need a bright idea for social good. With the help of M&S and Spark Something Good, we can then direct local energy and enthusiasm to exactly where it is needed.”

Whatever an individual’s passion – from photography to DIY and gardening to cookery – there will be something for everyone on the Neighbourly network so that people can ensure their skills are put to use in their communities.

Spark Something Good is part of Plan A, M&S’s ground-breaking eco and ethical programme. M&S has a long history of giving something back to the community. In the past seven years M&S has raised more than £50 million for charity partners, raised £15 million for Oxfam through its Shwopping initiative and encouraged its employees to volunteer by allowing an annual, paid volunteer day.

– Ends –

Further information

UNITY PR, 0207 440 9810

hazel@hellounity.com, mariana@hellounity.com or alice@hellounity.com

About Plan A
Plan A is Marks & Spencer’s sustainable business plan that tackles both today’s and tomorrow’s sustainable retail challenges. Launched in 2007, the plan is focused on customer, employee and supplier engagement and includes commitments that tackle issues such as climate change, waste, raw materials, health and being a fair partner.

About Neighbourly
Neighbourly.com is the internet platform that connects local projects with people and organisations who want to help. They do this by breaking down traditional barriers to finding and giving help – neighbourly is a friendly network of companies, individuals, charities, councils, institutions and community groups.

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MARKS AND SPENCER QUARTER 4 2014/15: Food outperformed the market; General Merchandise performance improved

MARKS AND SPENCER GROUP PLC QUARTER 4 2014/15 TRADING STATEMENT 13 WEEKS TO 28 MARCH 2015

LONDON, 2015-4-4 — /EPR Retail News/ — ‘Food outperformed the market; General Merchandise performance improved’

Marks & Spencer continued to make strong progress against its four priorities for the year:

1) Food business outperformed the market

  • Another strong performance in a difficult market: sales +3.7%; LFL +0.7%
  • Specialist positioning continues to set us apart; record Valentine’s sales
  • New Simply Food stores performing well

2) GM and Womenswear sales performance improved

  • General Merchandise: sales +1.3%, LFL +0.7%
  • Customers recognising continued improvement in product quality and styling
  • M&S.com sales back in growth as planned: sales +13.8%

3) General Merchandise gross margin improvement on track

  • Good progress on gross margin: guidance unchanged at +150 to +200bps
  • Full price sales up, discount participation slightly lower

4) Strong cash generation

  • Improved operating costs performance: guidance improved from c. +2.0% to c. +1.5%
  • Continued tight control of costs and capital expenditure

Marc Bolland, Chief Executive, said:

“We have made strong progress over the quarter. In Food we delivered another excellent performance, with sales growth ahead of the market. We continued to deliver on General Merchandise gross margin, and are pleased that we have achieved this whilst also improving General Merchandise sales. M&S.com has returned to growth, as planned, with further improvement in customer metrics.”

Trading summary

Food sales grew both at total and like-for-like level, as our specialist positioning continued to deliver results, in a difficult, deflationary quarter for the food market. Customers turned to us for special times of the year as well as everyday quality they can trust. We had a record Valentine’s Day and launched over 350 new products over the quarter. We continue to invest in price in order to stay competitive while protecting the gross margin, with full year guidance of +10 to +30bps unchanged.

General Merchandise performance improved this quarter, driven by continued focus on product quality and styling. Our Spring/Summer ranges have been well received by customers, as evidenced by strong improvement in customer research scores, as well as great fashion press coverage, including that of our iconic suede skirt. In line with our plan for the year, we promoted less and focused more on full price sales. However, this was partly off-set by more stock going into the Christmas sale as a result of the unseasonal conditions through the Autumn/Winter season.

Macro-economic issues particularly in our Russia, Ukraine and Turkey franchise partnership, coupled with further weakening in the Euro, have significantly impacted International second half profit.  Our key priority markets such as India continue to perform well.

M&S.com sales returned to growth as planned, with the website metrics including traffic, conversion and customer satisfaction continuing to improve. Our new distribution centre at Castle Donington performed well during the quarter.

Against the backdrop of recovering consumer confidence but continuing low inflation, our strategy remains to become an International Multi-channel retailer with focus on: General Merchandise gross margin and sales; cash flow and continuing growth in Food sales.

Marks and Spencer Group plc will report its full year results on 20 May 2015.

 

Fourth quarter sales

13 weeks to

28 March 2015

Food

–          Like-for-like

+3.7%

+0.7%

General Merchandise1

–          Like-for-like

 +1.3%

+0.7%

M&S.com sales2

 

+13.8%
Total UK sales

–          Like-for-like

+2.7%

+0.7%

International sales3 -3.8%
Group sales3 +1.9%

1Clothing sales were +1.2%, LFL +0.6%

2Memo only

3Stated on ex-VAT and constant currency basis. International sales at actual currency were -6.3% and Group sales were +1.6%.

Statements made in this announcement that look forward in time or that express management’s beliefs, expectations or estimates regarding future occurrences and prospects are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the United States federal securities laws. These forward-looking statements reflect Marks & Spencer’s current expectations concerning future events and actual results may differ materially from current expectations or historical results. Any such forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties, including failure by Marks & Spencer to predict accurately customer preferences; decline in the demand for products offered by Marks & Spencer; competitive influences; changes in levels of store traffic or consumer spending habits; effectiveness of Marks & Spencer’s brand awareness and marketing programmes; general economic conditions or a downturn in the retail or financial services industries; acts of war or terrorism worldwide; work stoppages, slowdowns or strikes; and changes in financial and equity markets.

For further information, please contact: 

Investor Relations:

Majda Rainer+44 (0)20 8718 1563
Helen Cox+44 (0)20 8718 8491

Corporate Press Office:+44 (0)20 8718 1919
Out of hours calls:+44 (0)20 8718 2000

Investors & Analysts Conference Call:

This will be hosted by Marc Bolland at 8.30am on Thursday 2 April 2015:

Dial in number: +44 (0)20 3427 1901
Access Code: 8933609

A recording of this call will be available until 17 April 2015:

Dial in number: +44 (0)20 3427 0598
Access Code: 8933609

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Marks & Spencer completed the installation of UK’s largest single roof mounted solar panel array

LONDON, 2015-3-3 — /EPR Retail News/ — Marks & Spencer (M&S) has completed the installation of the UK’s largest single roof mounted solar panel array on its East Midlands distribution centre in Castle Donington.

With the final panel laid and the system fully commissioned, the solar PV array will span the site’s 900,000 sq ft roof and will generate over 5,000 MWh of electricity per year, the equivalent amount of energy to power 1,190 houses.

The 24,272 PV panel structure, which would cover 25 miles if the panels were laid end to end, will lower M&S’s carbon footprint by 48,000 tonnes over 20 years. The energy generated will provide nearly 25% of the energy required for the fully automated distribution centre, which is big enough to hold 11 football pitches.

The record-breaking PV array will help M&S maintain its commitment of sourcing 100% of its electricity for UK and Ireland buildings from renewable sources, with 50% sourced from small scale renewable sources by 2020.

Hugo Adams, Director of Property at M&S, said:

“The completion of this project is hugely exciting for everyone at M&S. It is the first significant step in a number of solar energy initiatives we are planning this year. The scale of the project demonstrates our ambitious goals and long term commitment to onsite renewable energy.”

Amber Rudd, Minister for Energy and Climate Change, said:
“There is massive potential to turn our large buildings into power stations – and this is a great example of how businesses can reap the benefits.

“More rooftop solar means more jobs – and will also help deliver the clean, reliable energy supplies that the country needs at the lowest possible cost to consumers.”

The project is the first of a number of onsite renewable initiatives set to be rolled out this year by M&S, and is another step on the retailer’s carbon reduction journey. Since the launch of Plan A in 2007, M&S has lowered its carbon emissions by 37% and is carbon neutral across its worldwide operations.

M&S has agreed a Power Purchase Agreement with leading infrastructure specialist Amber Infrastructure, which will be supplying and maintaining the 6.1MWp solar panel array, having now completed its installation. The agreement runs for 20 years, with commitment from M&S to purchase all the electricity generated by the solar panels.

– Ends –

Notes

Marks & Spencer Engineering Manager Paul Millard will be delivering a seminar titled “Commercial rooftops – practical implementation case study” at Ecobuild on Wednesday the 4th March. The session will explore how solar can best be deployed on commercial rooftops.

About Plan A
Plan A is Marks & Spencer’s 100 commitment eco and ethical programme that tackles both today’s and tomorrow’s sustainable retail challenges. Launched in 2007, the plan has helped M&S send no waste to landfill, become carbon neutral and win 190 industry awards. Organised around four pillars – Inspiration, In Touch, Integrity and Innovation – it aims to make M&S the world’s most sustainable major retailer. To find out more please visit the Plan A website –http://corporate.marksandspencer.com/plan-a.

For further information on M&S, please contact:

Corporate Press Office
0208 718 1919

Amber Infrastructure
Amber Infrastructure Group (Amber) is a leading international infrastructure specialist, providing asset management and investment advisory services in respect of over £4 billion of assets in the UK, Europe, Australia and North America. Amber’s core business focuses on sourcing, developing, advising on, investing in and managing infrastructure assets within the utilities, PPP, transport, renewable energy and regeneration sectors. Amber provides investment advisory services to FTSE listed International Public Partnerships Limited as well as private investment funds, specialising in urban regeneration and energy efficiency, under the specialist brand Amber Green. Amber is headquartered in London with offices in Edinburgh, Munich, Sydney, Melbourne and San Francisco.