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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Ends –

For further information, please contact:

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

 

Notes to Editors:

Making M&S Special 

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

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

A slowdown in the Simply Food store opening programme

An acceleration of the UK store estate programme

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

A new Technology Transformation Programme

Improvements to its Clothing & Home Logistics Network

SOURCE: Marks and Spencer plc

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

Make Every Moment Special With Marks & Spencer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For further information, please contact Grayling:

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

Source:  M&S

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

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

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

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

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

Marks & Spencer updates on the growth plans for its China business

LONDON, 2015-3-3 — /EPR Retail News/ — Marks & Spencer has today provided an update on the growth plans for its China business. In line with prior announcements Marks & Spencer has today confirmed that:

  • Marks & Spencer has a firm intent to enter key cities such as Beijing and Guangzhou from 2015/16.
  • It will continue to invest in its existing flagship store portfolio with the complete modernisation of its flagship store on West Nanjing Road in Shanghai during the autumn.
  • As announced in April 2014, Marks & Spencer has reviewed the shape of its existing store portfolio to ensure its best aligned with its strategic growth plans. As a result, Marks & Spencer has taken the decision to close five of its supporting stores in the greater Shanghai region by August 2015. It has also reviewed its head office resource structure in line with growth plans.
  • Continuing its ‘bricks & clicks’ strategy, Marks & Spencer is leveraging E-commerce to strengthen brand awareness and reach across the country. Following the popularity of its online stores on China’s leading websites, which during the last quarter saw its sales on TMall.com increase by 200% on last year, Marks & Spencer launched a new dedicated kidswear store on TMall.com and a new clothing store on JD.com in January.
  • For the long term M&S is in the process of evaluating potential partners as first set out at its International Investor Seminar in April 2014.

HONG KONG & MACAU

  • In line with its International strategy to focus on its flagship stores, Marks & Spencer will invest in modernising its stores in Hong Kong during 2015/16.
  • Marks & Spencer will expand its Food store portfolio at convenient travel and city locations in Hong Kong during 2015/16. Since its update last year, Marks & Spencer has opened three Food standalone stores in Hong Kong during 2014/15, which have seen sales per square foot in line with its best performing Food stores in the UK.
  • Marks & Spencer will also grow its presence in Macau with the opening of a new 1,000 square metre store at The Venetian Mall in November 2015.

Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, Marks & Spencer’s Executive Director, Marketing & International, said: “Last year, we reaffirmed our commitment to our Greater Chinese business and set out clear strategic plans. Today we can share more details of our continued investment across our priority markets of China, Hong Kong and Macau. This includes the modernisation of our flagship stores, entering new key cities, growing our Hong Kong Food store portfolio and expanding our reach across China through new sites on TMall.com and JD.com.”

-Ends-

For further information, please contact:

Tiffany Hu
Ketchum Shanghai
Telephone: +86 21 63532288 x 131
Email: tiffany.hu@ketchum.com

Emma Johnson
M&S International Corporate PR
Telephone: +44 (0)20 8718 1980
Email: emma.johnson@marksandspencer.com

Corporate Press Office
Telephone: +44 (0)208 718 1919
Out of Hours: +44 (0)208 718 2000

Notes to Editors

Further details on today’s update:

Marks & Spencer China

  • Marks & Spencer’s first store opened in China in 2008.
  • M&S Changzhou Wanda Plaza, Changzhou and M&S Wuxi Jiangyin Wanda Plaza, Wuxi, will close on 9 March 2015. M&S Jiangqiao Wanda Plaza, Jiading, M&S Wenzhou, and M&S Changzhou InJoy City, Changzhou will close between March and August 2015. Employees of these stores and the supporting head office functions will be fully supported during this process.
  • Marks & Spencer launched its online flagship store on TMall.com in January 2013 offering clothing and food products. This was followed by the launch of its wine E-shop on JD.com in May 2014. In January, Marks & Spencer launched its new dedicated kidswear store on TMall.com offering over 300 quality, stylish kidswear lines and for the first time offer over 600 clothing products on JD.com.

Marks & Spencer Hong Kong & Macau 

  • Marks & Spencer opened its first Hong Kong store at the Ocean Centre shopping mall in May 1988 and now has 18 wholly-owned stores in Hong Kong. M&S opened its first Marks & Spencer Food store in Hong Kong at Wanchai in 2010 and currently has four standalone Food stores.
  • Marks & Spencer opened its first store in Macau at the Cotai Strip Resorts Macao in August 2014.

About Marks & Spencer: 

  • Marks & Spencer is one of the UK’s leading retailers. M&S sells high quality, great value clothing and home products as well as outstanding quality food.
  • Established in 1884, Marks & Spencer currently has over 840 UK stores and over 480 international stores across 59 territories in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
  • For more information please visitwww.marksandspencer.com/corporate