M&S launches ‘extraordinary’ Christmas food campaign

  • Following the success of ‘Paddington and the Christmas Visitor’ M&S launches ‘extraordinary’ Christmas food campaign
  • Set to a festive re-working of Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You’ the first ad features special M&S Christmas food for hosting, as well as Percy and Penny Pig’s first on-screen kiss

London, 2017-Nov-17 — /EPR Retail News/ — M&S will today (Wednesday 15th November) debut its first Christmas food ad – ‘M&S Presents: An Extraordinary Christmas’.

Featuring exquisite M&S food perfect for hosting an extraordinary Christmas dinner, the ad will air on the M&S Youtube channel and Facebook page from 5 pm and run across ITV1 channels this evening.

And there’s a treat for Percy Pig fans. The ad’s end frame includes Percy kissing his ‘fiancé’ Penny Pig under the mistletoe – their first on-screen kiss.

Hero products featured in the ad include the Collection Oakham Turkey with Pork and Chestnut Stuffing Maple Bacon and Maple Glaze, Hot Seafood Medley, a spectacular Bone Marrow Pie, innovative Steak and Chips party food and the White Wreath Dessert. A festive re-working of Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You’ provides the soundtrack.

The ad continues the Spend it Well M&S brand philosophy designed to inspire and enable people to make every moment special by focusing on the quality experiences, people and things that really matter.

It is the first of two ads and kicks off an integrated campaign that extends to TV, social, digital, press, radio and in-store. A second ad, titled ‘Extraordinary Gifts’ and featuring food perfect for gifting, will hit screens on 29th November.

Zoe Hayward, Head of Food Brand & Marketing at Marks & Spencer, said: “The campaign is about making this Christmas extraordinary for our customers. We know our customers love the magic of Christmas and we want to make every moment they spend with family and friends special, especially when it comes to hosting and gifting. Customers want to be inspired, excited and for their lives to be made more fun, festive and even easier when it comes to these moments. As a result, we have focused our campaign on hosting and gifting, helping them spend it well this Christmas.”

The campaign was created by M&S’ creative agency, Grey London.

Matt Doman, Creative Director of Food at Grey London, said: “We want to turn the dining table into a stage this Christmas and help everyone put on a real show for the ones they love. That’s spending it well.”

The ads follow the success of M&S’ Christmas campaign for 2017, Paddington and the Christmas Visitor which hit TV screens, online and social media last week.

Notes to editors
Credits:

Creative Agency – Grey London
Chief Creative Officer – Vicki Maguire
Creative Director – Matt Doman
Creative – Angela Harding
Producer – Fritha Dickie
Group Business Director – Katie Jackson
Account Director – Fiona Bonar
Account Manager – Ross Keane
Senior Planner – Sarah Oberman
Directors – Food Films, Michael Rouiler and Phillippe Lhomme
Production Company – Town Productions
Editor – Michele DiFrancesco at Town Productions
Post Production – MPC
Sound – Jack Sedgwick at Wave

For further information, please contact:

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

For ad images, please visit:
http://corporate.marksandspencer.com/media/multimedia-library and select ‘Christmas 2017’

For food images, please visit:

Landing

Source: M&S

M&S unveils Christmas campaign for 2017 with British icon Paddington

  • Partnering together for a family focused campaign ahead of the release of Paddington 2
  • In a first for M&S, the advert has also been turned into a storybook with all profits being donated to the NSPCC

London, 2017-Nov-08 — /EPR Retail News/ — This festive season, M&S has teamed up with a treasured British icon to create a truly special Christmas – as Paddington is unveiled as the star of Marks & Spencer’s Campaign for 2017, which will launch with the hashtag, #LoveTheBear.

The timely tie up follows the star-studded World Premiere of STUDIOCANAL and Heyday Film’s Paddington 2 this past weekend, with the family film going on general release this Friday (10th November).

The advert ‘Paddington and the Christmas Visitor’, created by Grey London, which airs today (Tuesday 7th November) is a festive, family focused tale that tells the story of how everyone’s favourite bear, Paddington, unknowingly saves Christmas for his friends and neighbours.

It’s Christmas Eve at Windsor Gardens and Paddington is fast asleep.  However, his dreams of marmalade are interrupted by a loud thud on the roof. Upon investigation, he stumbles upon a burglar and despite the burglar’s protests that he is “not Santa” the determined and good-natured bear begins to ‘help’ him deliver the presents back to where they belong.  Seeing the good in everyone, Paddington innocently helps the burglar see the error of his ways and as they place presents into personalised stockings and pause for mince pies, he unknowingly averts a crisis and ensures a truly special moment for neighbour Alice, and a happy Christmas for all.

In a first for M&S, the heart-warming story of the advert has been turned into a children’s Christmas storybook available in stores and online for £3. All profits will be donated to the NSPCC to help fund its vital Childline service over the Christmas season. To launch the book, M&S will also host a series of book readings for children at stores around the UK – starting at its flagship Marble Arch store on Friday (10th November).

The campaign retains the philosophy of M&S’ ‘Spend it Well’ brand platform launched earlier this year – encouraging customers to focus on the people, experiences and things that matter to them most, something that is never more important than at Christmas.

Paddington, who is named after the famous area of London where M&S is also based, will take a lead role in helping the retailer create a series of special moments for its customers and the communities it serves through partnership activity.

Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, Executive Director of Customer, Marketing & M&S.com said: “At M&S our customers are at the heart of everything we do and we know they love the magic of Christmas, most of all spending time with family and friends. Paddington has enchanted children and families all over the world for nearly 60 years which is why we couldn’t turn down the chance to bring the wonderfully endearing, much-loved British character and his world into the heart of our Christmas campaign this year. We always want to surprise and delight our customers; the timing is perfect as we’re partnering together just ahead of the release of Paddington 2.”

Rob Weston, Brand & Marketing Director at M&S said: “Paddington injects the sense of joy, love and neighbourly spirit that makes Christmas feel magical and our story reflects the inclusive, make the most of every moment approach that we take to our customer conversations.”

Partnership Activity 
Cinema 
M&S’ media partner, Mindshare, have worked with Digital Cinema Media to ensure the 90 second advert is shown before the start of every screening of Paddington 2. M&S is also running dedicated screenings of the film for Sparks members and their children, as well as in the ten communities it’s supporting through Plan A 2025.

In-store 
For the first time M&S will host a dedicated campaign shop to support its Christmas advertising campaign. Bespoke signage will lead customers to The Paddington Shop – housing over 90 themed products, the majority in kidswear, and of course Paddington’s favourite marmalade will be available in M&S Foodhalls. In another first, the iconic bear will be the first ever film character to star in the M&S Christmas windows.

In to December, M&S’ team of in-store ‘Moment Makers’ will be surprising and delighting customers with Paddington-themed ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ – from a free marmalade sandwich in the café, to a cheeky Paddington chocolate at the till.

Online and Social 
The retailer will bring Paddington’s iconic character to life for customers in a fully integrated cross channel campaign. The much-loved bear will take part in his first ever interview for M&S’ content hub Style & Living and there’ll be downloadable festive marmalade recipes suitable for all the family. Underpinning the entire campaign will be social support encouraging customers to #LoveTheBear.

Further Quotes
Dame Esther Rantzen, founder of the NSPCC’s Childline said, “Christmas is an exciting time of year, but for some vulnerable children and young people it can be very difficult which is why Childline is there for them 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. This, of course, requires a great deal of funding, which is why we’re delighted to be partnering with M&S and Paddington to support the Childline service and raise awareness of the work we do. At only £3, with all profits going to the NSPCC, the book is excellent value for money and the perfect Christmas gift.”

Vicki Maguire, Chief Creative Officer at Grey London said, “Two British icons coming together in a story of heart-felt redemption, at a magical time of year, is the brief that dreams are made of. Customer expectations for Christmas campaigns are always high, and for M&S this has never been truer than now following the positive response to ‘Spend it Well’. We cannot wait to see and hear the reaction as we spread the love, goodwill and marmalade this Christmas.”

Detail on M&S’s Christmas Campaign
The M&S and Paddington partnership is a fully integrated campaign, key activity is outlined below and will be supported by the hashtag, #LoveTheBear.

From Tuesday 7th November  

  • TV advertisement launches on TV and social media
  • Over 90 Paddington products in-store and online including the story of the advert ‘Paddington and the Christmas Visitor’ (£3) with all profits to NSPCC
  • A dedicated Paddington Shop in 78 M&S stores including selfie stations
  • Localised emails to customers to share the Paddington advert
  • Paddington windows in every M&S store

From Thursday 9th November 

  • Private screenings of Paddington 2 for Sparks members and in M&S’s Plan A communities

From Friday 10th November

  • Digital Cinema Media to show the 90 second advert before the start of every screening of the family film
  • Official launch of the charity book at M&S Marble Arch
  • Book readings at selected stores across the UK

From December 

  • Paddington themed ‘Random Acts of Kindness’

Further Detail on ‘Paddington and the Christmas Visitor’

  • Versions There are three versions of the advert (90”, 60” and 30”) to be played on television, social, in cinemas and on M&S’s own channels. There is also extra content for YouTube.
  • Advert Creative Team: ‘Paddington and The Christmas Visitor’ was created by Vicki Maguire (Grey London). Creative Directors: Jonathan Marlow, Henrik Ridderheim (Grey London), Art Director: Sam Daly (Grey London), Copywriter: Robert Greaves (Grey London), Writer: Simon Farnaby, Senior Producer: Thea Evely (Grey London), Assistant Producer: Serena Hodgson (Grey London), Assistant Producer: Leah Stolerman (Grey London), Group Business Director: Katie Jackson (Grey London), Business Director: Lucy Kozak (Grey London), Account Director: Sophie Mattacott-Cousins (Grey London), Account Manager: Hannah Austin (Grey London), Account Executive: Alice Lowden (Grey London), Planning Partner: Jonny Ng (Grey London), Senior Planner: Sarah Oberman (Grey London) Director: Daniel Kleinman (Rattling Stick), Producer: Johnnie Frankel (Rattling Stick), Editor: John Smith @ The Whitehouse, Music: Wake the Town, Composer: Alex Baranowski, Post Production: Framestore, VFX Producer: Chris Gray, VFX Supervisor: Ben Cronin, VFX Supervisor: Jordi Bares Dominguez, Sound: Wave, Sound Engineer: Jack Sedgwick
  • Advert Cast: Ben Whishaw (voice of Paddington), Mark Benton (burglar), Olivia Dixon (Alice), Mikey Dixon (Brother), Olivia Lee (Mum), Denver Isaac (Dad), Angela Rippon (Newsreader)
  • Book Creative Team: ‘Paddington and The Christmas Visitor’ was written by Timothy Knapman and illustrated by Becky Cameron (original story written by Grey London with Simon Farnaby)

Detail on Paddington 2
The much-anticipated sequel to the worldwide hit family film finds Paddington happily settled with the Brown family in Windsor Gardens, where he has become a popular member of the community, spreading joy and marmalade wherever he goes. While searching for the perfect present for his beloved Aunt Lucy’s 100th birthday, Paddington spots a unique pop-up book in Mr. Gruber’s antique shop, and embarks upon a series of odd jobs to buy it. But when the book is stolen, it’s up to Paddington and the Browns to unmask the thief…

A Heyday Films and STUDIOCANAL production, Paddington’s return to the big screen is helmed by BAFTA nominated director Paul King (PADDINGTON, COME FLY WITH ME, THE MIGHTY BOOSH) written by Paul King and Simon Farnaby (PADDINGTON, YONDERLAND and MINDHORN).

Materials are available at www.studiocanal.co.uk/press

For more information about the film visit:
www.paddington.com
https://www.facebook.com/PaddingtonBear/

https://www.instagram.com/paddingtonbear/
#Paddington2

Detail on Paddington 
For almost 60 years, British-born writer Michael Bond has been entertaining children and families all over the world with his stories about Paddington, the bear from Darkest Peru famous for his love of marmalade. Since the first book, A Bear Called Paddington, was published by HarperCollins in 1958, a further 14 full-length novels and countless other formats have been published. Paddington’s adventures have been adapted several times for television and at the end of 2014 Paddington made his debut onto the big screen in a film produced by STUDIOCANAL, a Vivendi company.  A second Paddington movie, also produced by STUDIOCANAL, Paddington 2, is set to launch globally on November 10th

In recognition of Paddington’s extraordinary popularity and success, Michael Bond was awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) from the Queen for services to children’s literature in 1997 and a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) in 2015.

Today, there are over 150 book titles available in 40 languages and in more than 100 countries, book sales are in excess of 35 million. The PADDINGTON DVD released in 2015 was the fastest and strongest selling DVD of 2015 in the UK. Paddington has a growing online presence with over 600 thousand Facebook fans and over 20 thousand Twitter followers.

ABOUT STUDIOCANAL 

STUDIOCANAL, a 100% affiliate of Vivendi’s CANAL+ Group, is Europe’s leader in production, right acquisition, distribution and international sales of feature films and TV series, operating directly in all three major European markets, France, the United Kingdom and Germany, as well as in Australia and New Zealand.

STUDIOCANAL owns one of the most important film libraries in the world, boasting 6,500 feature films, including the iconic Terminator 2, Breathless, Mulholland Drive and Belle de jour.

STUDIOCANAL has fully-financed recent box office hits like Paddington, Shaun the Sheep Movie and Non-Stop. Upcoming films backed by STUDIOCANAL include The Commuter featuring Liam Neeson, the highly-anticipated Paddington 2 by Paul King, and Aardman Studios’ stop-motion movies Early Man by Nick Park and Shaun the Sheep Movie 2.

STUDIOCANAL is actively developing and distributing high-end TV series through its network of award-winning European production companies, including Tandem Productions in Germany (Crossing Lines, Spotless), the UK’s RED Production Company (The Five, Happy Valley), Scandinavia’s SAM created by Soren Sveistrup and Adam Price (Borgen, The Killing), and Spain’s BAMBÚ PRODUCCIONES (Grand Hotel, Velvet). STUDIOCANAL has also stakes in the UK’s SunnyMarch TV, created by Benedict Cumberbatch, Urban Myth Films and Guilty Party.

Source: Marks & Spencer

M&S introduces dedicated Footwear Fitting Advisors in stores for Back to School shoe shopping

London, 2017-Aug-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — This Back to School season Marks & Spencer is improving its uniform offering for customers by trialling a new service in shoe fitting.

Ahead of the busiest day for Back to School shoe shopping (Saturday 26th August), M&S has introduced dedicated Footwear Fitting Advisors in 36 stores to help parents and their little ones find the right shoes for the new term. It’s the first time M&S has offered this service, with training being rolled out to 750 colleagues to ensure they can offer assistance and advice on measurement, fit and style.

M&S is committed to developing ranges and services in areas of growth opportunity. The retailer, who already sells a quarter of a million school shoes a year, including 30,000 in August alone, identified footwear as a key opportunity within school uniform. Customers told M&S that whilst they shop the wider uniform offer at M&S, they often seek more specialist advice when it comes to childrens’ footwear. In response, M&S has introduced the new service to help support parents in making this more considered purchase.

The new service launches as the College of Podiatry has released research showing 29 per cent of British children could be wearing shoes which are completely the wrong size. The practical training for M&S colleagues included understanding the development of the foot from baby through to teen and basic principles of good fitting shoes for foot health.

Niamh De Frinse, Kids’ Footwear Technologist at M&S said, “There’s lots for customers to think about to get the kids ready for the new term and properly fitted footwear is an important part of that. We want to be the retailer of choice for parents this ‘Back to School’ season, not just for the kids’ uniform, but for their shoes too, enabling us to grow our market share. Our customers have told us that offering a fitting advice service will give them the confidence to make that important purchase with us and if the trial is successful we hope to offer this service at even more of our stores in the future”.

The fitting trial is part of M&S’s continued effort to offer the very best services for customers – earlier in the year it increased investment for walk in bra fit and last year feedback from 7,000 customers led to the recruitment of 3,000 more colleagues into departments where service is most valued, including suit fitting.

M&S has also created a handy printable fitting guide for parents who want to purchase shoes online.

Notes to Editors

  • For more information on the College of Podiatry research click here
  • To read more about the quality and innovations in M&S schoolwear click here (a blog from schoolwear technologist Charlotte Hunt
  • Stores offering the fitting service include: Argyle Street Glasgow, Belfast, Braehead, Birmingham, Bluewater, Bromley, Camberley, Castlepoint, Charlton, Cheshunt, Cheshire Oaks, Croydon, Culverhouse Cross, Gemini, Handforth Dean, Hedge End, Kingston, Lisburn, London Colney, Longbridge, Marble Arch, Manchester, Meadowhall, Merryhill, Merton, Metro Centre, Milton Keynes, Monks Cross, Newcastle, Newtownbreda, Plymouth, Pudsey, Stratford, Thurrock, White City, Wolstanton Stoke

Source: M&S

M&S: Miranda Curtis to step down from the Board at the end of her second term on 1 February 2018

London, 2017-May-26 — /EPR Retail News/ — Marks and Spencer Group plc (“M&S”) announces that following her appointment as Lead Non-Executive Director of The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (“FCO”) in April 2017, Miranda Curtis will step down from the Board at the end of her second three-year term on 1 February 2018.

Since her appointment in February 2012, Miranda has served on the Remuneration, Audit and Nomination Committees.

Robert Swannell, Chairman of M&S said: “We are delighted that Miranda will be with us until the end of her second term in February 2018. I would like to take this opportunity to thank her for her significant contributions to the M&S Board and its Committees over the last six years.  Her experience, challenge and insights have been invaluable. We wish her well in her new role at the FCO”.

Miranda Curtis said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of this fantastic business and to have played a part in shaping this brand for its future”.

Media enquiries:
M&S Corporate Press Office
0208 718 1919

SOURCE: M&S

M&S extends its nationwide food redistribution scheme to include chilled food

London, 2017-May-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — Marks & Spencer (M&S) today (17 May 2017) announces the extension of its nationwide food redistribution scheme to include chilled food such as meat, dairy items, poultry and ready meals, as part of its Plan A target of reducing food waste by 20% by 2020.

Launched in October 2015, the existing scheme has helped M&S to connect all its stores* to local food charities and community groups – from soup kitchens for the homeless to community cafés supporting local families with meals. To date M&S has donated 1.25 million meals to 595 food charities across the UK and Northern Ireland. By adding chilled food to the fruit, vegetables, bread, cakes and groceries and dry packaged goods and tins already donated – M&S will play a key role in helping charities feed people in need of a safe, sufficient and nutritious diet.

M&S works in partnership with Neighbourly, the social network for social good, to connect local charities with their local M&S store. The site has allowed M&S to remove some of the main logistical barriers to redistributing chilled food, including ensuring that all those charities registered have refrigeration to transport and store chilled food, as well as having the correct food hygiene credentials in place.

During the last month, 130 M&S stores have begun redistributing surplus chilled food to their local charities. M&S will review the extension at the end of May with a view to roll out to further stores where the charity partner has the approved infrastructure in place. The chilled launch follows a pilot in 70 M&S stores this Christmas which aimed to find the most effective and safe way of redistributing surplus chilled food to ensure it is put to the best possible use.

Commenting on the new chilled food donations, Louise Nicholls, Head of Responsible Sourcing, Packaging & Plan A at M&S said: “Addressing food waste is a key area of focus for M&S and we have been working hard to reduce food waste whilst ensuring that, where there is food surplus, we put it to the best possible use. Over the last year our partnership with Neighbourly has allowed us to connect our stores to local food projects and help support our local communities. By extending our food surplus scheme to include chilled food we’ll be able to go even further in helping charities support those in need with safe and nutritious food.”

Nick Davies, Founder of Neighbourly, added: “People often under-estimate how determined companies like Marks & Spencer are to help protect the planet and the communities they serve. For 10 years now the Plan A initiative has guided behind-the scenes efforts to tackle climate change, source sustainably and reduce waste whilst never compromising safety or the customer experience. Their request for help with chilled food is just the latest step in an ambitious journey and Neighbourly is delighted to assist – it’s good for society, good for business and good for the soul.”

Dr David Moon, Head of Food Sustainability WRAP, said: “WRAP estimates that approximately 47,000 tonnes of surplus food – the equivalent of 90 million meals – is currently being redistributed to feed people in the UK every year. This is a great move by M&S and opens up a new area of surplus food that can go to feed people, rather than potentially being wasted. No food should go to waste when there are options like redistribution, and Courtauld 2025 signatories have responded with a collective ambition to double the amount of surplus food they redistribute by 2020. This move by M&S is a great example of the kind of action that will help make that ambition a reality.”

Further information on how charities can register is available on the M&S page of the Neighbourly website.

Case study – M&S Yeovil   

Through the food surplus redistribution scheme, M&S Yeovil has donated nearly 18,500 meals to Yeovil Community Meals Service which delivers freshly cooked, ready to eat meals for older people in the community, those with mobility problems, dementia or those who are recently home from hospital. Last month, M&S Yeovil added chilled food to the scheme which has seen a 25% rise in the number of meals donated.

About M&S’s approach to food waste:

  • Our primary aim is to reduce the amount of waste we create in the first place
  • We have invested in new stock forecasting and planning systems to improve the accuracy of our food allocation and distribution at our stores;
  • We believe we have the most comprehensive supplier engagement schemes and we are very active in working with our suppliers to ensure they are engaged in:
    • Reducing waste – over 70% are now zero waste to landfill; and
    • Redistributing more – as well as increasing redistribution from our stores, we are working closely with our suppliers to help them redistribute more direct from their depots.
    • We have also increased the volume of short life food products that we sell at a discount to our customers and this process now consistently clears the majority of products that would otherwise have been disposed of.
    • M&S was given advice from Westminster City Council, its primary authority, that it is satisfied with the safety procedures M&S has place for the chilled food donations.
    • Where there is food surplus, we will work with charity partners through the Neighbourly platform to ensure that it is put to the best possible use.
    • Charities that can make use of surplus food items and make regular collections from the back of their local store will need to join neighbourly.com and create a profile for their project. To find out more, send an email to food@neighbourly.com or telephone 0117 917 5317.
    • The Neighbourly platform will enable better connections between customers, communities, suppliers and our own employees.
    • We are also committed to helping our customers reduce their food waste by developing packaging innovations that protect food and keep it fresher for longer.
    • Any surplus left over goes to anaerobic digestion (a process that turns food waste into electricity – some of which is bought back to power M&S stores) – absolutely nothing goes to landfill.
    • For further information, please see the M&S Plan A website

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 is an award-winning social platform that matches charities and community projects with people and companies that can help. It uses technology to connect and enable communities, individuals and organisations to help local causes through volunteering, financial and food donations. M&S has partnered with Neighbourly to deliver Spark Something Good, its major Plan A employee and customer volunteering initiative. Visit www.neighbourly.com/ or follow @nbrly

Media enquiries:
M&S Corporate PR
020 8718 1919

Source: Marks & Spencer

M&S hosts a three day Taste of Christmas event, Dec. 1-3, 2016

M&S hosts a three day Taste of Christmas event, Dec. 1-3, 2016
M&S hosts a three day Taste of Christmas event, Dec. 1-3, 2016

 

  • Customers are invited to in-store tasting events across the UK to sample the best of M&S’ Christmas food range
  • Christmas canapés, cheese and desserts will be available to taste in all M&S Foodhalls from 1st – 3rd December

LONDON, 2016-Dec-02 — /EPR Retail News/ — M&S is hosting a Taste of Christmas event in its foodhalls across the UK from today (01 Dec 2016) until Saturday 3rd December. Today also sees the release of its final Christmas food advert – ‘Tis the season… for all day feasting.

The team of food experts at M&S have created a must-have collection for festive entertaining. Customers will be able to sample show-stopping canapés, sophisticated snacks, desserts and drinks that are only available at M&S.

The three day Taste of Christmas event, taking place at 600 stores, offers a great opportunity for those looking for inspiration to try special and new products that help them plan their Christmas dining. In-store experts will be on hand to advise customers on combining plates, canapés and drinks.

M&S has launched 290 new food products this Christmas and expects to sell 400 million mince pies and 100 million party food items over the Christmas period.

There is a treat available for every moment during the festive season including Twice Smoked Salmon Blinis that make the perfect breakfast treat, Mini Porcini Mac ‘n’ Cheeses to spoil party guests, Salted Caramel Profiteroles and special Christmas Smoked and Spiced Cheeses to follow the main event. Drinks on offer have a suitably festive twist with Mince Pie Martinis, Christmas Cake Liqueurs and the American inspired Christmas Cobbler, which is the ultimate contemporary sherry cocktail.

Sacha Berendji, Director of Retail at M&S said: “The taste events are a great way for our teams in stores to make the run up to Christmas special for our customers. With 290 new food products on offer this Christmas, the event gives customers a chance to try some exciting treats and get into the festive spirit.”

This year’s series of four ‘Tis the Season food ads tap into the key moments for customers this festive season. The final ad released today, ‘Tis the Season… for all day feasting, focuses on preparing all the essentials for the big day. The beautiful food shots show off the very best of M&S this Christmas and are complemented by a festive twist of the popular and iconic Clean Bandit track.

Contact: 

M&S Corporate PR Team
0208 718 1919

Source: M&S

###

M&S features Mrs Claus in its 2016 Christmas campaign

LONDON, 2016-Nov-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — Tonight (11 Nov 2016), M&S launches its 2016 Christmas campaign, with the release of its much anticipated Christmas advert Christmas with Love. Christmas with Love is its most customer-centric campaign to date, with input from thousands of its 32 million customers across the UK to develop the star of their Christmas ad – Mrs Claus.

The ad will premiere tonight, Friday 11th November, at 9pm. It is also M&S’s most socially immersive campaign to date, launching in the first ad break of Gogglebox to more than three million viewers, alongside landing on YouTube, M&S’s website and to its five million Sparks members.

It tells the story of Jake, who’s spent the last year squabbling with his sister Anna. As Christmas approaches, Jake decides he wants to do something special for her. So he writes to Mrs Claus (played by British actor Janet McTeer) who helps him give the perfect present with love to Anna – red, glittery trainers. And Mrs Claus helps out in her own stylish way, flying from Lapland across London in her helicopter to get Anna’s present to her on Christmas morning. As she departs, it magically begins to snow, delivering a white Christmas for all to enjoy.

Created by RKCR/ Y&R, the ad was directed by Oscar-winning British director Tom Hooper and has an original cinematic score composed by talented British composer Rachel Portman.

Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, Executive Director of Customer, Marketing & M&S.com said: “Our Christmas with Love campaign is a brand new approach for M&S this year, one that has been created with our customers and for our customers, with their feedback at the heart of our strategy. Our ambition is for M&S’s customers across the nation to experience something special this festive season.

“Mrs Claus is the result of thousands of conversations that we had with our customers to understand what they want from M&S – which is warmth, empathy and a touch of humour presented in a modern and contemporary way. She epitomises the huge efforts our customers put in to making the festive season special and represents the love and togetherness that customers want to feel and see in abundance at Christmas.

“That’s why we’ve brought Mrs Claus and her world to life outside the ad in our most immersive and mobile Christmas experience yet. Across social, in store, mobile and online she’ll be there to help our customers with the build up to the big day by taking over our communication channels and surprising customers as they shop, ensuring that everyone will #LoveMrsClaus this year.”

Mrs Claus will be helping M&S make every moment special for its customers this Christmas. Living beyond the ad, she’ll open her world and point of view outside the TV ad – from social media takeovers featuring her own emoji and hashtag #LoveMrsClaus to offering outfit and gift inspiration on in store décor. M&S’s store teams will be getting involved by carrying out 15,000 acts of Mrs Claus kindness for customers, from free coffee for a Café regular to a party makeover for a customer in need of a pick-me-up.

Along with its media agency Mindshare, M&S has created an exclusive partnership with Channel 4 to launch the campaign. Following a week of co-branded teaser activity across the Channel 4 network and in social media, Mrs Claus will appear in a special ad break where she will officially kick off the festive season on the channel. A specially created spot narrated by David Mitchell will see Mrs Claus give seasonal style tips to Dawn O’Porter, Christmas decoration suggestions for Kirsty and Phil and festive food inspiration to Jimmy Doherty. This spot will launch as part of a break takeover alongside the M&S Christmas ad tonight, with more content to be released in the run up to Christmas on air and in social media

To create a campaign that is warmer and more special than ever before, M&S has listened to thousands of customers to ensure that Christmas with Love is highlighting the most relevant products at the right time throughout the festive season. The campaign will be aligned with customers’ personal Christmas calendars as they work towards the big day, from the search for a great Christmas jumper in early December, to the last minute dash for cream on Christmas Eve. For Food, this means the continuation of their mouth-watering ‘Adventures In’ TV ads, under the title ‘Tis the Season,’ with a festive twist to the iconic Clean Bandit track that complements the ads. For Clothing, it means targeted advertisements across multiple press, outdoor and digital channels. M&S’s top stores will have seasonal gift highlight areas at the front featuring all the products from the ads, ensuring these advertised lines are easy for customers to find.

The sentiments behind the campaign will also be reflected in how customers experience the brand in-store and online. From the redeveloped Christmas Food to Order website which is now easier to shop, with more choice and more collection-slots, to their best ever range of innovative and special festive food and gifts, to the warmth of their 70,000 store colleagues. This season M&S will truly make every moment special for customers, with a magical Mrs Claus touch.

Notes to Editors 

  • Mrs Claus was created by Alice Burton & Psembi Kinstan from RKCR/Y&R working with Smuggler (Tom Hooper). Editing by the Quarry, Post Production by The Mill and Sound Design by Wave.
  • There are four versions of the advert (3m, 2m, 60” and 30”) to be played on Television, Social and M&S’s own channels.
  • The track composed by Rachel Portman will be available to buy and stream through Universal from Friday 11th November, it will also be played on Bill Turnbill’s Classic FM morning show
  • All products featured in the advert are available in selected M&S stores and online, including Anna’s glittery trainers

For further information, please contact:

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

Source: Marks & Spencer

M&S Energy Community Energy Fund winners announced

  • Following a staggering 78,837 votes by the general public, 19 projects have been awarded grants from the M&S Energy Community Energy Fund.
  • Judges including Sir Ed Davey, have also awarded a further seven projects up to £12,500 each.
  • The project has helped customers get involved and Spark Something Good through donations  for their preferred project, with an additional £28,798  raised through the Crowdfunding platform.

London, 2016-Nov-02 — /EPR Retail News/ — M&S Energy has today (31 Oct 2016) announced the winners of the M&S Energy Community Energy Fund. Now in its second year the scheme saw a staggering 78,837 people get involved and cast a vote. All of the projects were looking for funding to install renewable technology or energy efficiency measures in their community building.

It was a fierce competition but today 26 projects have been awarded grants. The community energy winners are a diverse range of projects from schools to sports clubs to a community pub. They span Great Britain from the Highlands to Devon and will benefit all different types of communities.

Tom Druitt from the Big Lemon CIC, a winner of the South Regional Prize said, “We’re thrilled to have won the regional M&S Energy Award for our Solar Bus project. This will enable us to cover the roof of our depot in solar panels so we can run our new electric buses on renewable energy.  As far as we know there is nothing quite like this in the country yet, so this award will help us push the boundaries of what is possible and bring a zero carbon, zero emissions bus service to our community.  We would like to pay tribute to the other wonderful projects in our region and wish them well in developing their plans in the future.”

A panel of judges comprising of Sir Ed Davey (Chairman of Mongoose Energy & Former Secretary of State for DECC), Giles Bristow (Director at Forum for the Future), Morven Smith (Head of Community Investment at SSE), Nancy Sheterline (winner of the 2015 M&S Energy Community Energy Fund in the South West region for Exeter Phoenix) and Kuljinder Pank (Community Energy Manager at M&S Energy) selected the seven judge’s prize winners, each awarded up to £12,500.

Sir Ed Davey said, “It’s been an absolute pleasure to be involved in the judging panel for the M&S Energy Community Energy Fund.  All the winners will make a real difference to their local communities, made possible through this fund. The level of community support during the voting stages is a clear confirmation that community energy is thriving and communities around Great Britain want and need it – more so at this time of uncertainty in the community energy field. The judge’s prizes were stand out, presenting some unique and innovative ways to think about generating and saving energy.”

The M&S Energy Community Energy Fund saw 199 applications from a wide variety of groups looking to make a difference and 125 made the shortlist. This year the voting process included the option to donate to any of the community energy groups via the Crowdfunding platform link on the M&S Energy fund website, this has resulted in an extra £28,798 of funding.

Jonathan Hazeldine, Head of M&S Energy said, “This year the competition has been fierce and we’ve been overwhelmed by the participation from the public who have voted in their tens of thousands. They’ve also generously donated over £28,000 through the Crowdfunding tool on our website which has been brilliant – for local community groups every small donation can make a massive difference. We’re looking forward to seeing the projects come to life and benefit local communities. As a 100% green energy supplier, supporting those who share our vision of a sustainable future through renewable energy is really important to our company, our customers and our colleagues.”

Notes to Editors

If you are a customer with an enquiry, please contact our Customer Service team on 0333 014 8000.

Source: M&S

M&S to donate 10% of all women’s fitness clothing and sports bra sales to the charity Breast Cancer Now

M&S to donate 10% of all women’s fitness clothing and sports bra sales to the charity Breast Cancer Now al women to call on customers to get active to help prevent breast cancer. M&S will be donating 10 per cent of all womenÕs fitness clothing and sports bra sales to Breast Cancer Now during Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October. The retailer has chosen seven inspirational women, all of whom have been affected by breast cancer, to model the collection. According to experts at Breast Cancer Now, women who are active for 30 minutes a day can cut their risk of developing breast cancer by at least 20 per cent. Left to right: Amanda Jones, Fiona Coaton, Lindsay Partridge, Miranda Ashitey, Sarah Falola, Sera Bains and Mandie Stevenson.
M&S to donate 10% of all women’s fitness clothing and sports bra sales to the charity Breast Cancer Now

 

London, 2016-Sep-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — WOMEN who are regularly active are helping to protect themselves against breast cancer according to charity Breast Cancer Now, with 30 minutes of activity a day reducing the risk by at least 20 per cent.

During Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October, M&S is calling upon its customers to ‘Spark Something Good’ and show support for Breast Cancer Now by getting active. The retailer will be donating 10 per cent of all women’s fitness clothing and sports bra sales to the charity in order to raise funds.

Seven inspirational women – Amanda Jones (74), Fiona Coaton (30), Lindsay Partridge (52), Miranda Ashitey (34), Sarah Falola (44), Sera Bains (45) and Mandie Stevenson (26) – all of whom have been affected by breast cancer, have been chosen by M&S to model the collection.

The seven ladies will also share video diaries on how to embrace daily activity whilst telling their own unique and empowering stories on social media using #letsgetmoving. The retailer is encouraging the public to take on a 7 Day Challenge and pledge to be active for 30 minutes a day.

Breast Cancer Now states that women do not need to run on a treadmill or go to a spin class to reduce their risk; there are several other ‘less gym, more fun’ ways to get active for 30 minutes a day.

Eluned Hughes of Breast Cancer Now said: “We want women to know how important it is to get active. Studies show that just 30 minutes of activity per day can help reduce your risk of getting breast cancer by at least 20%. This can be something as simple as walking to work, gardening or taking the family out for a bike ride. Any activity that makes you warmer, breathe harder and makes your heart beat faster counts.”

In light of this, M&S and Breast Cancer Now have teamed up with Strictly Come Dancing 2006 winner Karen Hardy to create a simple dance routine that can make even those with ‘two left feet’ keep healthy and help reduce their risk of breast cancer.

To kick-start the campaign Karen will be hosting ‘Move it in the Park’, a free, one-off dance fitness class in Hyde Park today (27th September 2016), where the routine will be performed for the first time.

The dance can help raise heartbeat levels and therefore, would count towards the 30 minutes of daily activity that can help reduce the risk of breast cancer by at least 20%.

Karen Hardy said: “Dancing and going to the gym are obvious ways of keeping fit, however there are so many activities that can get your heart rate up – many of which you’re probably already doing on a weekly basis. Even simple chores like vacuuming the house or doing the gardening can make a difference.

“I was definitely surprised that being active can have that much of an impact on the risk of getting breast cancer and what is great is that by being more conscious in what you do daily you’ll be able to see just how easy it is to hit the 30 minute target.”

M&S and Breast Cancer Now aim to raise £13 million over five years in a bid to prevent 9,000 cases of breast cancer a year by 2025.

The money raised will go towards Breast Cancer Now’s scientists to help them in their research to understand the risk factors for breast cancer and how they might use that knowledge to calculate an individual woman’s risk. It is hoped this will lead to the development of a risk assessment tool that will better inform women of the options available to them based on their personal risk of breast cancer in the future.

Women in the UK have, on average, a one in eight chance of developing breast cancer in their lifetime.

For ways you can support this Breast Cancer Awareness Month visit http://www.marksandspencer.com/s/lingerie/breast-cancer-now

Notes To Editors

* Strictly Come Dancing is the registered trademark of the BBC.

About Breast Cancer Now:

  • 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 is the UK’s largest breast cancer charity.
  • Breast Cancer Now’s ambition is that by 2050 everyone who develops breast cancer will live. 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.
  • Breast Cancer Now’s world-class research is focused entirely on breast cancer. The charity supports nearly 400 of the world’s brightest researchers at more than 30 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 around 11,500 women and 80 men 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.org or follow us on Twitter or on Facebook.

About Spark Something Good:

  • Spark Something Good is M&S’ way of helping customers and colleagues make a real difference. Whether it’s getting involved in the community through Charity of the Year activity, Shwopping old clothes or supporting M&S’s efforts to help beat cancer (with Breast Cancer Now and Macmillan). It encourages customers to join in and ‘Spark Something Good’. It is an important element of M&S’ Plan A programme – Marks & Spencer’s eco and ethical programme that tackles both today’s and tomorrow’s sustainable retail challenges.

For further information / interviews / images:

Vishal Rana
vishal@hellounity.com
020 7440 9828

Robyn Swan
robyn@hellounity.com
020 7440 9810

Andrew Soar
andrew.soar@hellounity.com
020 7440 9817

For further information on Marks & Spencer:

Daniel Himsworth
daniel.himsworth@marks-and-spencer.com
020 8718 1618

For further information about Breast Cancer Now please contact:
press office
07436 107 914.

Source: Marks & Spencer

###

M&S Executive Director Multi-Channel Laura Wade-Gery to leave the company

LONDON, 2016-Sep-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — M&S today (12 Sep 2016) announces that it has agreed with Laura Wade-Gery that, following her maternity leave, Laura will not be returning to her position as Executive Director, Multi-Channel, and will be leaving the company at the end of September. Laura will step down from the Board with immediate effect. There are no further changes to the previously announced responsibilities covering her maternity.

Commenting on the announcement, Robert Swannell, Chairman of Marks and Spencer Group plc, said: “On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Laura very much for the significant contribution she has made in her five years at M&S.  Laura has been a valued member of the Board and instrumental in the improvement and modernization of our e-commerce and multi-channel capabilities. We wish her all the very best for the future.”

Steve Rowe, Chief Executive, said: “Laura has been a great colleague and has achieved much in her role heading our multi-channel business.  I am grateful to Laura for her contribution and she leaves M&S with my personal thanks and best wishes.”

Laura Wade-Gery said: “I have had five very happy years at M&S. I’ve been away from the business for a year now, and that time has seen some significant changes in both my personal life and in the business. I concluded that the time was right to move on from M&S. I wish Steve and all my colleagues and friends every success”.

Remuneration:
The following information is provided in accordance with section 430(2B) of the Companies Act 2006:

  • Laura Wade-Gery’s remuneration terms will be in line with the key provisions for contract termination as per Marks and Spencer Group plc’s Executive Remuneration Policy approved by shareholders in 2014.
  • Laura will receive monthly payments of up to a maximum of eight months’ salary and benefits, subject to mitigation.
  • Any unvested nil-cost options awarded to Laura Wade-Gery under the Deferred Share Bonus Plan will vest in full on termination and may then be exercised in accordance with the Plan rules.
  • Any unvested nil-cost options awarded under the Performance Share Plan will be time pro-rated and will vest, subject to performance conditions on a wait and see basis at the normal vesting date and may then be exercised in accordance with the Plan rules.
  • Laura Wade-Gery will not be eligible to participate in the Annual Bonus or Performance Share Plan awards for 2016/17.
  • Further details of the operation of the Deferred Share Award and Performance Share Plan are set out in the Directors’ Remuneration Report in our Annual Report and Financial Statements 2016. Full disclosure of these remuneration arrangements will be provided in our Directors’ Remuneration Report in 2017.

For further information, please contact:
Corporate Press Office: +44 (0)20 8718 1919
Out of hours calls: +44 (0)20 8718 2000

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

Source: M&S

M&S and Energy4All launch new clean energy initiative M&S Energy Society

  • M&S and Energy4All launch M&S Energy Society
  • Members of M&S Energy Society can  invest between £100 and £100,000 to fund solar panels on nine M&S stores, with a targeted interest rate of 5%
  • M&S buys the energy generated from the solar panels to power its stores

LONDON, 2016-Jun-17 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today (16 Jun 2016) M&S and Energy4All have launched M&S Energy Society – an exciting new initiative designed to generate renewable electricity from solar panels installed on M&S stores from Cheshire Oaks to Cheshunt. The project is a unique collaboration between a major retailer and community energy organisation.

The Society is inviting Members to invest £100 to £100,000 towards solar panels which will be installed on up to nine M&S stores. M&S will then buy back the energy to power its stores. The Society is targeting an interest rate of 5% each year for its Members; parents and grandparents can also purchase shares on behalf of children or grandchildren.

As well as providing an alternative investment opportunity for ethically conscious customers, each installation will result in a reduction of CO2 emissions released by the M&S stores. The initiative will also help to fulfil M&S’s green energy commitment; to ensure that 50% of electricity used in its UK and ROI building operations comes from small-scale renewable sources by 2020.

After paying interest to its Members, any remaining funds will be invested back into the community, helping to deliver M&S Energy Society’s social and environmental aims; Members will decide which causes will benefit from the money raised.

Lydia Hopton, Plan A Project Manager at M&S said, “This project is a great opportunity for customers to invest in green energy and help the environment, while also supporting local community groups. We’re really excited that M&S will be the first retailer to launch a scheme of this kind”.

Mike Smyth, Chair of Energy4All said, “There’s a real appetite for community energy funds. With community energy, investors can see the tangible difference their investment makes. Every pound invested means more solar panels, increasing renewable energy generation and cutting carbon emissions every day. We’re really pleased to be working with M&S and are looking forward to getting started”.

Lord Bourne, Minister for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said, “This new initiative from M&S is an excellent example of private enterprise working with its customers to produce clean, green energy and support local community groups. I would urge other companies to follow suit.”
Notes to Editors

How interest is calculated:

  • M&S Energy Society plans to pay Share Interest annually in arrears on the balance of each Member’s shareholding with the first payment being made in September 2017.
  • Members should receive return on their investment targeted at an annual rate of 5% for the first three years.  After the third year the targeted interest rate will be increased by the rate of inflation in the previous three years, and each year after the third year the targeted interest rate will be increased by inflation in the previous year.
  • As an illustration, if inflation is 2.5% each year then the targeted annual rate of interest is as follows:
Year Years 1-3 Year 4 Year 6 Year 11 Year 16
Targeted interest rate 5% 5.38% 5.66% 6.4% 7.24%
Members’ investment held by The Society £1,230,000 £1,045,500 £922,500 £615,000 £307,500

This table also shows how Members’ investment is targeted to be repaid during the life of the Project.  The effect of repaying the investment is to reduce the amount of capital on which Interest is paid and to correspondingly increase the profits of the Society which are paid to the Community Benefit Fund.

The Project has a modular structure and the targeted rate of return is not dependant on successfully building on all 9 sites.
Other solar projects:

  • M&S’s first store installation was completed at Muswell Hill in 2010.
  • In March 2015 M&S completed the installation of the UK’s largest single roof mounted solar panel array on its East Midlands distribution centre in Castle Donington. It spans the site’s 900,000 sq ft roof and generates over 5,000 MWh of electricity per year, the equivalent amount of energy to power 1,190 houses.
  • Energy4All projects have raised over £50 million to construct and operate community-owned renewable energy generation at sites throughout the UK.

Find out more:

Marks and Spencer Group’s Q4 2015/16: Food sales continue to outperform the market

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

Marks and Spencer Group Plc

Quarter 4 2015/16 Trading Statement

13 Weeks to 26 March 2016  

 ‘Another good quarter in Food; more to do in Clothing and Home’

Food sales continue to outperform the market

  • Sales +4.0%; LFL +0.0%; grew market share to 4.3%
  • New store opening programme performing ahead of expectation

Significant increase in Clothing and Home gross margin

  • Gross margin now expected to be between +240 to +250bps
  • Continued improvement in buying margin and some investment in price

Some progress in Clothing and Home sales but more to do

  • Sales -1.9%; LFL -2.7%; reduced proportion of sales on promotional discount
  • M&S.com sales +8.2%; further improvement in customer satisfaction

Strong cash generation 

  • Continued tight management of costs and cash
  • £150m share buyback programme completed

Steve Rowe, Chief Executive, said:

“I am very proud and privileged to be leading M&S.  We are focused on getting even closer to our customers and putting them at the heart of everything we do.

“We had a mixed performance in the final quarter of the year. Our Food business once again outperformed the market by c.3.5% pts.   Although the sales decline in Clothing and Home was lower than last quarter, our performance remains unsatisfactory and there is still more we need to do.

“Turning around our Clothing and Home business by improving our customer offer is our number one priority.  I will update you on my thoughts on the business in May.”

Trading summary

Overall, group sales were +1.9% for the quarter.

The Food business continued to outperform a highly competitive market. In line with our strategy, our store opening programme continues to drive strong sales growth. We opened 80 new stores in the year and as a result we grew our market share to 4.3%. Customers turn to us for special occasions and this quarter was no exception with our biggest ever Mothers’ Day. We continued to invest in our special and different products launching 400 new lines whilst also offering great value for our customers.

In Clothing and Home, we faced a challenging backdrop characterised by price deflation and a flat market. Spring/Summer season launched with significantly higher product availability than last year. We continued to make improvements across range and design, for example, our Autograph sales were up 10%. We also began to reduce the proportion of sales on promotional discount and will continue to do so as we head into the new financial year. However as flagged at quarter three, we had more stock into sale. At the same time, we invested in sharpening our prices on a number of lines, whilst delivering a strong gross margin improvement. Although these actions contributed to the sales run rate improving since the last quarter, we still have a number of areas to address.

M&S.com delivered a good performance with strong improvement in customer satisfaction scores driven by improved website speed and ease of navigation. We ran fewer online only promotions giving customers a more consistent shopping experience across our channels.

Despite improved sales in both our franchise and owned businesses in International, the previously guided currency pressure and challenging trading conditions are still expected to heavily impact the full year profitability.

Fourth quarter sales 13 weeks to
26 March 2016
Group sales1 +1.9%
Food2
–          Like-for-like
+4.0%
+0.0%
Clothing and Home2
–          Like-for-like
 -1.9%
-2.7%
M&S.com sales3 +8.2%
Total UK sales
–          Like-for-like
+1.6%
-1.1%
International sales1 +3.8%

1Stated on ex-VAT and constant currency basis. International sales at actual currency were +4.3% and Group sales were +1.9%. 2Timing of Easter contributed 1.0% to Food and 0.4% to Clothing and Home sales. 3Memo only.

Outlook

We now expect the full year Clothing and Home gross margin to be between +240 to +250bps.  All other trading guidance remains unchanged.

Marks and Spencer Group plc will report its full year results for the 53 weeks ended 2 April 2016 on 25 May 2016.  All of the above guidance is stated on a 52 week basis.

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:
The call will be hosted by Steve Rowe and Helen Weir at 8.30am on Thursday 7 April 2016:
Dial in number: +44 (0)20 3427 1907
Access Code: 4274999

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

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

– Ends –

Whole Foods Market’s Top Ten Holiday Wines launch in stores

Retailer’s experts curate exciting options to pair with seasonal dishes, all priced below $17 per bottle

AUSTIN, Texas, 2015-10-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — Whole Foods Market’s Top Ten Holiday Wines launch in stores today to take the guesswork out of gatherings and gifts this holiday season. Every bottle is priced between $9.99 and $16.99, and was selected by the retailer’s global team of experts to pair perfectly with seasonal flavors.

These distinctive, interesting and wallet-friendly wines were chosen to please a crowd, and most of them are hard to find anywhere else. The Apremont from Domaine Bernard et Cristophe Richel is a particularly rare and exciting variety that is hard to find in the U.S., yet offers broad appeal and over-delivers for the $14.99 price point.

“The Whole Foods Market wine team is on a mission to help customers find sensational wines that fit your budget and your interests. We tasted hundreds of options to curate these Top Ten Wines, bringing our shoppers foolproof bottles to make holiday entertaining easier,” said Doug Bell, global beverage buyer for Whole Foods Market. “As always, our holiday wines have options for everyone, from those looking for classic varietals like the Cave de Lugny Chardonnay to folks seeking adventurous choices like the Bula Montsant, a rich and balanced red.”

This collection of 10 wines and one bubbly were hand-picked by Whole Foods Market’s 11 regional wine buyers and two global buyers, Doug Bell and Devon Broglie, who is one of only 230 Master Sommeliers in the world. Visit wfm.com/wine for more information on these holiday wines from Whole Foods Market:

Domaine Bernard et Cristophe Richel, Apremont
Try a sip off the beaten path with this citrusy French White. Aromas of white flowers. Minerality and grapefruit notes.
Pairs with Mons Meule de Savoie cheese, seafood, oysters, fondue, charcuterie, ham, Hot Crab and Artichoke Dip.

Casas del Bosque, Sauvignon Blanc
Wafts of pear and jalapeño pepper. Fresh green melon flavors, grapefruit acidity. A nice plush heft in the body moves to a bright, clean finish.
Pairs with Vermont Creamery Bonne Bouche cheese, oysters, clams, pear and arugula salad, turkey and dressing, Hearty Turkey Noodle Soup.

Cave de Lugny, Chardonnay
Aromas of peach and apricot with a touch of citrus. Clean, crisp, nicely balanced with a just-sweet roundness. A food-loving wine!
Pairs with Mons Camembert cheese, seafood, chicken dishes, turkey, mushroom crepes, shrimp and grits, scalloped potatoes, Baked Camembert with Fresh Herbs.

The Stash, Pinot Noir
Ripe cherry and plum aromas. Stone fruit flavors then white pepper, blackberry, even hints of sassafras and cola. Mouthfilling yumminess.
Pairs with Cabot Clothbound Cheddar aged at Cellars at Jasper Hill, coq au vin, pork tenderloin, mushroom risotto, baby back ribs, squab, quail, turkey, Maple-Sage Cornish Hens with Roast Apples.

Squadra, Rosso
Wild herb and red berry aromas. Juicy ripe blackberry flavors, a touch of pepper and rustic minerality. The Sicilians know how to make a Red!
Pairs with Parmigiano Reggiano aged 24 months, pasta dishes with meat sauce, pork roast, beef rib roast, Roasted Leg of Lamb with Pomegranate Wine Sauce.

Michel Chapoutier, Marius Red Blend
A big, bold Red. Spicy black fruit aromas. A touch of earthiness. Hints of coffee and pepper balanced with a vanilla note. Full-bodied.
Pairs with Black Creek Vintage Cheddar aged 2 Years, hearty meats with sauce, chili, burgers, brisket sandwiches, wild mushroom lasagna, Homestyle Meatloaf.

Joel Gott, Grenache
Blackberry, strawberry, vanilla aromas. Blueberry and slight butterscotch flavors. Peppery acidity. Elegance for days.
Pairs with Petit Agour sheep’s milk cheese, lamb, venison, roasted veggies, Roasted Duck with Fig and Port Sauce.

Santa Julia Reserva, Mountain Blend
Aromas of red plum, violet and spice. Dark red fruit flavors, stewed berries and cobbler. Velvety mouthfeel. Full-bodied.
Pairs with Appleby’s Double Gloucester cheese, roast beef, brisket, Beef Tenderloin with Red Wine-Shallot Pan Sauce.

Sea Pines, Old Vine Petite Sirah
Deep plum and blueberry aromas. Warm spice notes. Generous roundness, silky tannins. Dark fruit flavors in the long finish. A rich, ripe California Red.
Pairs with Borough Market Stilton cheese, grilled meats, rich mushroom dishes, rosemary-roasted vegetables, coffee-rubbed meats, Garlic Roasted Beef Brisket.

Bula, Montsant
Attractive floral aromas. Layers of raspberry, rocky minerality and a subtle cherry sweetness. Richness in the finish, balanced by robust tannins.
Pairs with Mitica Mahón cheese, red meats, richer pasta dishes, pizza, paella, gumbo, Roasted Pimentón-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Romesco Sauce.

Madame Liberté, Brut
A bright golden bubbly, redolent with aromas of green apple, pear and a touch of toast. Baked apple flavors. Zippy acidity. Crisp and refreshing.
Pairs with Isigny Ste. Mère Bonhomme Brie, salmon, shellfish, brunch, cheese plates, Smoked Salmon Hash and Eggs.

Doug Bell
Global Beverage Buyer
Doug has acquired a rarefied view of the world of buying and selling wine from living in California wine country, traveling to every major wine region of the world, attending wine expositions, blending wines with winemakers, designing wine labels, sitting on wine panels, speaking at wine and beverage conferences, doing media interviews and connecting with our customers via social media and in stores.

Devon Broglie
Click for Hi-Resolution
Devon Broglie, MS
Master Sommelier and Associate Global Beverage Buyer
Devon became a Master Sommelier in 2011.

M&S launches its new Members Club SPARKS nationwide on October 22

LONDON, 2015-10-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — M&S is embarking on a new style of customer relationship with the introduction of SPARKS – its new Members Club.  Launching nationwide on October 22nd, SPARKS will help convert customers into members who will be rewarded with more from M&S.

M&S has taken a fresh look at loyalty and designed its new Members Club in collaboration with over 600 customers. During a three month live trial phase1, M&S has recruited over 100,000 members to road test and refine SPARKS. The result is a Members Club that helps M&S know its best customers even better – recognising more than just spend and going beyond generic discounts to reward members with personalised, lifestyle enhancing benefits.

Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, Executive Director at M&S said: “Customers tell us they want to ‘be part of something special’ and that’s exactly why SPARKS is a club. As a member you are more than a customer and you’ll get the most from M&S – with tailor-made offers, priority access and invites to exclusive events. It’s a two way relationship; members tell us what they enjoy, select their own tailored offers and are rewarded for sharing their views.”

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.

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 7,000 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.

The launch of SPARKS has been made possible by the recent transformation of M&S infrastructure and its in-house digital capabilities2. Members will be invited to download the free M&S App – where they can manage their SPARKS membership and check in daily to view their progress and unlock new benefits.  The SPARKS hub can also be accessed at www.marksandspencer.com/sparks. Members will be able to collect sparks via M&S.com and using their SPARKS card in UK stores, including M&S franchise partners.

Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne continued: “Over 131 years, customers have built a unique sense of trust and ownership in the brand and a members club is the natural evolution. And now is the right time for M&S; thanks to our infrastructure investment and the breadth and depth of our product offer, we can deliver a club that sees us collaborate with our members to build a better M&S together.“

Whilst the national SPARKS launch begins on 22nd October, interested customers can collect a SPARKS card from their local M&S store and invitations to join the club will be sent to selected M&S Bank customers, M&S.com customers and shareholders from today (15th October).

To kick start the launch, M&S is running ’14 Days of SPARKS’ in store and online between 22nd October and 4th November where every day all registered members will be entered into a free prize draw3 for an extra special SPARKS experience – giving a taste of the benefits available to members.

Notes to editors:

1.Between late August 2015 and early October 2015, M&S undertook a live trial in its Wales & West region. Trial members were recruited from the customer base across 24 stores and they tested both the in-store and online SPARKS experience.

2.In spring 2014, M&S moved away from an Amazon platform to launch an M&S owned and operated customer web platform. This formed part of a wider investment in the retailer’s infrastructure, spanning its customer and IT systems to its logistics capabilities. This transformation also included the addition of a 360 view customer analytics platform. M&S has continued to strengthen its insight and digital in-house capabilities and by taking ownership of its web platform M&S has greater flexibility to respond quickly to emerging trends and continue to evolve its site and SPARKS offer.

3.Daily individual prize draws are open to all registered SPARKS members who are 18 years of age or older and a UK resident. Daily prize draws will close at 11.59pm each day. All registered SPARKS members at that time will automatically be entered in to each qualifying prize draw (other than previous ‘Win with SPARKS’ prize draw winners). Employees of Marks & Spencer are excluded. Winners will be notified within 48 hours of the prize draw closing and you must claim your prize within 7 days of receiving confirmation. Terms and conditions apply to individual prizes, see marksandspencer.com for more details.

MEDIA CONTACTS

SOURCE: Marks and Spencer plc

M&S partners with sustainable brand expert and campaigner Livia Firth and her consultancy Eco-Age

LONDON, 2015-10-8 — /EPR Retail News/ — M&S is announcing a new partnership with sustainable brand expert and campaigner Livia Firth and her consultancy Eco-Age to bring to life for its customers its well established eco and ethical fashion credentials.

M&S has been long recognised for its work in developing an eco and ethical business model, this partnership marks a commitment to highlight consistently products made with integrity, demonstrating that style and integrity fit perfectly together.

Working closely with the M&S buying and design teams, Livia has put together a capsule wardrobe to meet the working woman’s needs, all taken from the retailer’s existing Autumn clothing collections.   Each item represents one or more examples of M&S working with integrity, from being made in a specifically accredited factory, to being made of sustainably sourced fabrics. The Edit, handpicked by Livia and fully assessed by Eco-Age features a range of wardrobe essentials, including two looks for the office, one for the evening and a weekend outfit. By selecting from its main collections the retailer aims to highlight how integrity is woven into the fabric of the business.

The work wear looks team navy pinstripe culottes with a roll neck cream sweater and dark burgundy flats to create an easy but smart work outfit while the Autograph navy and white print dress could easily go from day to night. Skinny jeans paired with cosy wool rich Per Una jacket and lambswool sweater make the perfect outfit for casual autumn weekends. For a glamorous party or cocktail outfit the Per Una Speziale figure-hugging red dress with zip feature provides the perfect solution.

Also included are key wardrobe essentials from coats to jeans to simple jersey pieces and an easy to wear day dress.

Livia said: “I am so excited to finally be partnering with a high street retailer and it was very clear to us why it had to be M&S. I have very much admired the astonishing work that M&S has done over the years – seriously, transparently and with huge commitment throughout the whole company – in both environmental and social justice. On top of this, the M&S eye to quality in its garments and production cycles means this is not fast fashion. I have been an M&S customer for many years and I look forward to now telling the wonderful stories behind their clothes.”

Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, Executive Director Marketing added: “Livia and her team have the most incredible knowledge of the challenges of making fashion sustainable and it has been a mutually beneficial experience working with her to select this edit of her favourite pieces from our autumn ranges. This is a great partnership to bring to life the lengths we go to on all our products and the importance of integrity at the heart of our business.”

The Edit will be on sale from 8 October in 13 stores and online at www.marksandspencer.com 

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For further information, please contact:

Tania Littlehales,
Head of Product PR, Marks & Spencer
020 8718 2098
Tania.littlehales@marks-and-spencer.com

Harriet Vocking,
Head of Marketing and Communications, Eco-Age
020 8895 7611
Harriet.vocking@ecoage.com

About M&S INTEGRITY & Plan A
We believe in doing business with integrity.
We aim to source all our products responsibly.
We only work with suppliers who share our values.
We treat people fairly and with respect.
Those are the principles that underscore everything we do.

Plan A is the eco and ethical programme M&S launched in 2007 that tackles both today’s and tomorrow’s sustainable retail challenges. 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 M&S website –www.marksandspencer.com/integrity

About Eco-Age
Eco-Age is a Brand Consultancy that helps businesses grow by creating, implementing and communicating bespoke sustainability solutions.

Livia Firth is the Creative Director of Eco-Age, the sustainability brand consultancy and founder of the Green Carpet Challenge® (GCC).

As an Oxfam Global Ambassador, Livia has travelled to Ethiopia, Kenya, Bangladesh and Zambia, connecting with the people at the beginning of the supply chain. Livia is a UN Leader of Change and has also been recognised with the UN Fashion 4 Development Award.

In 2014, Livia was awarded the Rainforest Alliance Award for Outstanding Achievement in Sustainability and the Honorary Award of the National German Sustainability Foundation.

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M&S partners with sustainable brand expert and campaigner Livia Firth and her consultancy Eco-Age

M&S partners with sustainable brand expert and campaigner Livia Firth and her consultancy Eco-Age

 

M&S launches new campaign across TV, print and digital platforms designed to put a spotlight on the unique quality and style of M&S products

LONDON, 2015-9-4 — /EPR Retail News/ — For Autumn 2015, M&S introduces ‘The Art of’ – a new campaign across TV, print and digital platforms designed to put a spotlight on the unique quality and style of M&S products. The new campaign uses a stylish and cutting edge format to celebrate the craftsmanship and fashion credentials across M&S’ women’s, men’s, kids’ and home ranges.  The campaign launches in the UK from 7pm on 2nd September 2015 and elements will be used across 50 international markets.

Watch the video above to find out more about the campaign

The Art of Launch Ad
https://player.vimeo.com/external/138067022.hd.mp4?s=cf66f0a2a8fa55f6dff689f9e3a87396&profile_id=119&download=1

Behind the Scenes on The Art of shoot
https://player.vimeo.com/external/137977417.hd.mp4?s=69ae42ada809f6508ad91351b782f00d&profile_id=113&download=1

Commentary from Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne
https://player.vimeo.com/external/138064055.hd.mp4?s=e6f28678bb97c0eee0cee14d0179bebc&profile_id=119&download=1

SOURCE: M&S

M&S calls on customers to join its employees, the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) and the Canal & River Trust to help clear litter from Britain’s beaches and canals

2015 Big Beach Clean-up to clear litter from 135 beaches and canals 8,000 M&S customers and employees to take par MCS survey shows litter on Britain’s beaches increased 6.4% last year

LONDON, 2015-3-25 — /EPR Retail News/ — Marks & Spencer (M&S) is today calling on customers to join its team of employees, the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) and the Canal & River Trust to help clear litter from Britain’s beaches and canals.

The call comes after an MCS survey published last week showed that litter on British beaches rose by 6.4% last year.

The 4th annual Big Beach Clean Up will clean 135 beaches and canals up and down the country between the 7th and 13th May with over 8,000 people (3,000 M&S employees and 5,000 M&S customers) expected to take part. Last year 250km of coastline and canals were cleared with 4,000 bin bags full of litter collected.

Customers can find their nearest beach clean and sign-up at www.mcsuk.org/foreverfish.

Most of the litter collected will be common waste items such as wrappers, drink bottles and lids as well as fishing lines. It is also likely to include wet wipes, with last week’s MCS survey reporting a 50% rise in the number found on beaches in 2014 compared to the previous year.  Last year’s Big Beach Clean-up cleared 10,950 cotton buds, 21,900 wrappers and 55,600 plastic pieces. Cleaners also found an array of unusual items including false teeth, a hammer, a plastic leg, two motorbikes, a Smurf, a breast implant and an Action Man.

Sacha Berendji, Director of Retail at Marks & Spencer, said: “The Big Beach Clean Up is a great way to support the community and help safeguard the future of UK fish stocks. Clean waterways and beaches mean clean seas and our store colleagues up and down the country will be making preparations to clean their local beach or canal. We want as many customers as possible to be alongside them in May, it’s a simple, fun way to volunteer and make a difference.”

Samantha Fanshawe, MCS Chief Executive, said: “The Big Beach Clean-up has grown year on year, involving thousands of amazing volunteers ready to don gloves and bags and pick up the rubbish left behind by others, washed down from rivers or discarded from fishing boats and ships.  Beach litter levels around the UK are sadly increasing – by over 6% according to our most recent UK survey.  This fantastic partnership between M&S, charities and communities raises awareness of the issue and the need for nation-wide action across government, industry and voluntary sectors to stop litter at source.”

Richard Parry, Chief Executive at the Canal & River Trust, said: “Canals are havens in our towns and cities.  They are home to many endangered and much loved wildlife as well as places for people to get away from it all.  Local communities already do so much to help us look after the waterways, and it’s particularly good to have the support of M&S to keep them special places.”

The M&S Big Beach Clean-up is part of M&S’ Forever Fish campaign which is funded by the profits from the 5p carrier bag charge in M&S foodhalls. Since its introduction in 2008, the charge has reduced carrier bag use by 75 per cent and raised over £8 million for good causes.

Since the M&S Big Beach Clean-up began in May 2012 over 20,000 people have taken part and 62.5 tonnes of litter – the weight of Challenger 2 tank – has been cleared from our canals and beaches.

Customers can find out more www.marksandspencer.com/plana and follow the event on twitter (@marksandspencer or search #beachclean) and facebook (www.facebook.com/marksandspencer).

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Notes to editors

* The Marine Conservation Society’s Great British Beach Clean report 2015 http://www.mcsuk.org/press/view/618

Forever Fish

Forever Fish is funded by the profits from the 5p carrier bag charge in M&S Foodhalls. The objectives of the Forever Fish campaign are to

  • Help to protect and save our precious sea life, oceans and beaches for future generations to enjoy
  • Encourage as many of M&S’ customers and employees as possible to help the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) clean British beaches and learn about fish
  • Help customers make healthy and more sustainable choices by promoting more high quality, sustainably-sourced fish and introducing lesser known and more plentiful species.

The Marine Conservation Society

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) is the UK charity dedicated to protecting our seas, shores and wildlife. MCS campaigns for clean seas and beaches, sustainable fisheries, and protection of marine life. Through education, community involvement and collaboration, MCS raises awareness of the many threats that face our seas and promotes individual, industry and government action to protect the marine environment. MCS produces the annual Good Beach Guide, the Good Fish Guide and Fishonline on sustainable seafood, as well as involving thousands of volunteers in projects and surveys such as MCS Beachwatch and The Big Beach Clean-up. For further information, please visit: www.mcsuk.org.

The Canal & River Trust

The Canal & River Trust is the guardian of 2,000 miles of historic waterways across England and Wales, caring for the nation’s third largest collection of listed structures, as well as museums, archives, and hundreds of important wildlife sites.

We believe that living waterways transform places and enrich lives and our role is to make sure there is always a place on your doorstep where you can escape the pressures of everyday life, stretch your legs and simply feel closer to nature. www.canalrivertrust.org.uk

Further information
Amy Gower, Marks & Spencer Press Office, 0208 718 1693
amy.gower@marks-and-spencer.com

Marine Conservation Society: Richard Harrington, 01989 561585
richard.harrington@mcsuk.org

Canal & River Trust: Jonathan Ludford, 0203 204 4514
Jonathan.ludford@canalrivertrust.org.uk

M&S issued an update on the first six months of its sustainable business plan “Plan A 2020”

  • 63% of M&S products now have a Plan A attribute
  • M&S food delivery team adds 14 nitrogen trailers to its fleet
  • LED lighting to be rolled out to all Food Halls
  • 28 per cent of M&S cotton now grown to BCI standards
  • M&S Café raises £800,000 for Macmillan World’s Biggest Coffee morning
  • 7,000 take part in M&S Emerging Leaders training
  • Marks & Start on target for busiest year on its 10th year anniversary
  • Clothes exchange launched in Czech Republic and Hong Kong

LONDON, 2014-12-2 — /EPR Retail News/ — Mike Barry, Director of Plan A at M&S, says: “It’s been an exciting first six months for Plan A 2020. Launched in June, the new 100 commitment sustainable business plan is making an impact on M&S operations across the world and engaging our customers, employees and partners in more sustainable lifestyles and ways of doing business.

“It is helping us stand up and take action on the sustainable retail challenges of today and tomorrow. Our products are becoming more sustainable, we’re testing new technology that could transform our future operations and we’re supporting causes that make a real difference to the future for our customers and the local communities we operate in.

“We’re also ensuring we share best practice and learn from others. Only through collaboration will business create meaningful change and our work with the Consumer Goods Forum is a great example of big companies coming together to make shops and products better for both people and planet.”

63% of M&S products now have a Plan A attribute
63 per cent of M&S products, almost two billion items sold every year, now have a Plan A attribute – an eco or ethical quality above the market norm. The figure puts M&S well ahead of its target to have 50 per cent by 2015 and on track for all M&S products to have an attribute by 2020.

Attributes make it easy for M&S customers to shop more sustainably and further embeds Plan A into every buying department.

Products recently awarded with Plan A attributes include boxes of Belgian chocolates (now made from 100 per cent UTZ certified chocolate), all Food-To-Go pasties (the Cornish factory where the products are made has received accreditation for energy and water efficiency) and all gift bags, gift wrapping and greetings cards (all made from FSC certified or recycled paper).

M&S food delivery team adds 14 nitrogen trailers to its fleet
The M&S food delivery team has added 14 trailers to its fleet that use Liquid Nitrogen to refrigerate the unit, rather than traditional diesel fuel.

The trailers, which operate out of M&S’ distribution centre in Hemel Hempstead and deliver to stores around London, are better for the environment, emitting 62 per cent less CO2 over their lifetime and zero at point of use. There is also a noise pollution benefit with the trailers running virtually silent.

The viability of the trailers to replace the 670 diesel fuelled trailers that the M&S food delivery team runs will be assessed over a number of years. It is estimated over 6,000 tonnes of CO2 (circa one per cent of M&S’ total emissions) could be removed from M&S’ carbon footprint if the vehicles are successful.

LED lighting to be rolled out to all Food Halls
M&S has announced that it will be rolling out LED lighting to every M&S Food Hall over the next two years.

100 M&S Simply Food stores will receive LED lights across the store and a further 300 Food Halls and Simply Food stores will receive LED lighting for their refrigeration units. LED lighting is more energy efficient and longer lasting than more traditional forms of lighting. It also better for customers, directly focusing light on shelves and products to give a better visual experience. As a result there are cost savings – uses less energy and maintenance costs are lower – and commercial benefits.

LED lighting was first trialled at the M&S eco store in Ecclesall Road, Sheffield back in 2011 – one of the first shops in the UK to use the technology. It has since been trialled in 12 other stores, proving the business case for a roll out to all M&S-owned Food Halls and Simply Food stores.

In the trial stores, energy was reduced by around 20 per cent.

LED is a key element of M&S’ strategy to meet the Plan A energy efficiency commitments to reduce energy usage by 35 per cent by 2015 and 50 per cent by 2020 relative to square footage increase (against a 2006/7 baseline).

28 per cent of M&S cotton now grown to BCI standards
Almost a third of the cotton sourced by M&S is now grown to BCI (Better Cotton Initiative) standards. That’s a huge total of around 50 million products sold annually that support M&S’s commitment to source more sustainable cotton, including underwear, school uniform, dresses and bedding.

Better Cotton is kinder to the environment as it is grown using less fertiliser, less water and fewer chemicals and earns more money for the farmer by reducing input costs and helping them manage crops better.

M&S Café raises £800,000 for Macmillan World’s Biggest Coffee morning
This year’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning event at M&S Cafes up and down the country raised a staggering £800,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Themed events took place in M&S Cafes on 26th September and throughout September 5p from every coffee sold and 20p from every Victoria Sponge was donated to Macmillan.

Downton Abbey and Mad Hatters tea parties both proved to be popular themes with employees and customers making a huge effort.

It was M&S’ biggest ever fundraising total since it started partnering with Macmillan for World’s Biggest Coffee Morning in 2010 and with the addition of funds from charity Christmas cards and employee fundraising efforts, total fundraising at M&S this year for Macmillan is expected to hit £1.2 million. The money raised helps fund Macmillan nurses and support workers throughout the UK.

7,000 take part in M&S Emerging Leaders training
7,000 workers from M&S suppliers and their local communities in Kenya and South Africa have taken part in the Emerging Leaders Training programme – a scheme designed to inspire people to become ‘leaders’ in their work, personal and community lives.

Post training feedback showed that 98 per cent of participants felt the course had a positive impact on their lives. 80 per cent set up an income generating activity post training and two thirds set up a community project. The results also showed a positive impact on suppliers with productivity going up, quality improving, reduced worker turnover and employee satisfaction improving.

The M&S Emerging Leaders training programme takes place on factories, farms and in local communities with the support of M&S suppliers. The training is intended to give participants the skills to take charge of their own situation, encouraging them to start entrepreneurial projects in the workplace, at home or in their own communities.

Marks & Start on target for busiest year on its 10th year anniversary
So far this year M&S has supported 2,477 people who face barriers to the workplace through its Marks & Start employability programme.

The figure includes 1,192 young unemployed through Make Your Mark (part of the Marks & Start scheme) with the support of The Prince’s Trust, 524 single parents with the support of Gingerbread, 672 people with disabilities with the support of Remploy and 89 homeless with Business in the Community.

It puts Marks & Start on course for its busiest year since launching in 2004. Over the last 10 years, 12,420 disadvantaged people have been supported with an average in to work rate (the number of people that complete the scheme and go on to find full time employment) of 40 per cent.

Participants complete pre-placement training with the relevant charity partners and a four week training placement at a Marks & Spencer store or office. Each person is paired with a buddy and a coach, spending their placement working alongside their buddy who helps to give everyday support and coaching. Anyone that completes the training and is recommended by their coach can take any M&S vacancy in any store within a six month period without having to apply online or be assessed.

Clothes exchange launched in Czech Republic and Hong Kong
The Marks & Spencer Clothes Exchange, known as Shwopping in the UK, has been launched in M&S’ 20 stores in the Czech Republic and 17 stores in Hong Kong.

Customers can now donate used or unwanted items of clothing every time they shop at an M&S store in Hong Kong and the Czech Republic. M&S collects the clothes and distributes them to a local charity for recycling, re-use or re-sale. A successful three month trial earlier this year saw 35,000 garments donated.

In the UK M&S partners with Oxfam to run the scheme. Since launch 10 million garments have been ‘Shwopped’, worth an estimated £6 million to Oxfam. The exchange will be rolled out across more international markets next year.

Plan A 2007 – 2013
Plan A was launched in 2007 as a 100 commitment, five year eco and ethical plan to transform the way M&S operated and sourced its products. Ninety-four of the original commitments were achieved, five were not achieved and one was deleted due to changes in circumstances. In 2010 Plan A was extended and strengthened with 80 new commitments with 2015 and 2020 deadlines added to the original 100. Since launch Plan A has won over 200 awards.

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Further information

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

Consumer media enquiries
Liz Williams, Marks & Spencer Press Office, 0208 718 6369
liz.williams@marks-and-spencer.com

For images, please visit
http://corporate.marksandspencer.com/media/multimedia-library