Marks and Spencer PLC (00214436) is a major British retailer listed on the London Stock Exchange and member of the FTSE 100 Index.
Founded in 1884, M&S forms a significant element of the UK’s retail fabric operating across 1,035 stores and employing circa 80,000 people, serving about 32 million customers. The company specialises in the selling of clothes, home products and luxury food under its Foodhall and M&S Simply Food formulae.
The company is rated the highest score of 5A1 by Dun & Bradstreet representing a ‘minimum risk of business failure’.
Having significantly reshaped its management team in 2017-2018, Marks and Spencer continues to embark on a series of transformative changes to reshape the business into a retailer that can remain relevant and iconic in the modern retail environment.
In November, the new CEO Steve Rowe set out a five year plan to “make M&S special again”, the first steps of which are now well underway. Most significantly to date this has involved an acceleration of the store closure programme, to focus on fewer, larger and more profitable stores, with support from the online business, and in turn restart the process towards long term growth.
In setting out their plans for the future, Steve Rowe and the chairman, Archie Norman, were clear in their recognition of the need to strengthen M&S’s food business online. In February 2019 it was announced that M&S were creating a joint venture with Ocado, the UK’s leading pure play digital grocer. Under the JV, M&S has paid £750 million to acquire 50% of Ocado’s UK retail business, to combine the strength of the M&S brand and food quality with Ocado’s established online retailing technology and logistics capability. The new business will offer a strategic route for M&S to unlock growth in its food business, by offering a fast route to a scalable presence in the online grocery market adding to its already loyal customer base of over 12 million M&S Food shoppers and more.
The latest accounts for the year ending April 2017 show:
50 George Street
London W1U 7GA
128 Wigmore Street
London W1U 3SA