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Marks & Spencer (M&S) is a major Britishmarker retailer, with over 885 stores in more than 40 territories around the world, over 600 domestic and 285 international. It is the largest clothing retailer in the United Kingdommarker, as well as being an upmarket food retailer, and as of 2008, the 43rd largest retailer in the world. Most of its domestic stores sell both clothing and food, and since the turn of the century it has started expanding into other ranges such as homewares, furniture and technology.

In 1998 it became the first British retailer to make a pre-tax profit of over £1 billion, though a few years later it plunged into a crisis which lasted for several years. In November 2009, it was announced that Marc Bolland, formerly of Morrison's, will take over as chief executive from Stuart Rose in early 2010; Rose will continue as chairman until mid-2011.

It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.


Early years

The company was founded by two people Michael Marks, a Polishmarker immigrant from Slonimmarker (now in Belarusmarker) ; he first opened a penny bazaar (Marks Penny Bazaar) in Hartlepool , the port of his entry into England, selling imported toys and other goods from his native Poland. Marks then ventured to Stockton-on-Tees and eventually onto Leedsmarker in 1884 as a single market stall. After Thomas Spencer, a clerk at one of his suppliers, joined the company in 1894 it was known as 'Marks and Spencer'. The site of the first stall is marked with a green and gold commemorative clock in Leeds Kirkgate Marketmarker. One of the original Penny Bazaars - in the Grainger Market, Newcastle upon Tynemarker - remains open to this day, and is now the smallest M&S store in operation.

Marks and Spencer, known colloquially as "Marks and Sparks", "Markies", or "M&S", made its reputation in the 20th century on a policy of only selling British-made goods (a policy eventually discontinued in 2002). It entered into long term relationships with British manufacturers, and sold clothes and food under the "St Michael" brand (trademark registered in 1928), a name which honours its co-founder Michael Marks. It also accepted the return of unwanted items, giving a full cash refund if the receipt was shown, no matter how long ago the product was purchased. It adopted a 90-day returns policy in 2005 but on 12 April 2009 the refund policy changed once again to 35 days. This is still the most generous refund period on the British high street.

1950 to 1972

By 1950, virtually all goods were sold under the "St Michael" label. M&S lingerie, women's clothes and girls' school uniform were branded under the "St Margaret" label until the whole range of general merchandise became St Michael.. Simon Marks, son of Michael Marks, died in 1964, after fifty-six years' service. Israel Sieff took over as Chairman. A cautious international expansion began with the introduction of Asian food in 1974. M&S opened stores in continental Europe in 1975 and in Irelandmarker four years later..

The company put its main emphasis on quality, but for most of its history, it also had a reputation for offering fair value for money. When this reputation began to waver, it encountered serious difficulties. Arguably, M&S has historically been an iconic retailer of 'British Quality Goods'. Its business model required suppliers to commit to long term contracts solely with M&S. This approach often led to over-reliance by manufacturers on the portion of trade they did with M&S. Accordingly, when the M&S fashion buyers changed suppliers on some aspects of the company's retail clothing offering, manufacturers were left dangerously exposed: many became insolvent. This has resulted in a change of climate, and no longer is a contract to supply M&S held up as the panacea it once was.

M&S has sold Christmas cakes and Christmas puddings since 1958. In an effort to improve the quality of their Swiss rolls, they hired the food expert Nat Goldberg, who made a major improvement across their entire cake range, which had lost the public’s favour a few years earlier. As a later measure to improve food quality food labelling was improved and "sell by dates" were phased in between 1970 and 1972.

Smoking was banned from all M&S shops in 1959 because of the fire hazards it posed. It later became a permanant rule after concerns were raised by asthmatics about their health.

All international stores are operated under franchise, with the exception of the stores in the Republic of Ireland and Hong Kong which remain in company ownership.

The first M&S store in central Asia was built in Kabulmarker, Afghanistanmarker in the 1960s. The store was later shut down.

1972 to 2002

M&S expanded into Canadamarker in 1973, and at one point had forty seven stores across Canada. Despite various efforts to improve its image, the chain was never able to move beyond its reputation there as a stodgy retailer, one that catered primarily to senior citizens and expatriate Britons. The stores in Canada were smaller than British outlets, and did not carry the same selection. In the late 1990s, further efforts were made to modernize the stores and expand the customer base, and unprofitable locations were closed. Nonetheless, the Canadian operations continued to lose money, and the last 38 stores in Canada were closed in 1999.

Expansion into Francemarker began with stores opening in Paris at Boulevard Haussmannmarker and Lyon in 1975, followed by a second Paris store at Rosny 2 in 1977. Further expansion into other French and Belgian cities followed into the 1980s. Although the Paris stores remained popular and profitable, the whole of the Western European operation did not fare as well and eighteen stores were sold in 2001.

In 1988 the company acquired Brooks Brothers, an American clothing company and Kings Super Markets, a US food chain. They were subsequently sold off, in 2001 and 2006 respectively.

M&S's profits peaked in financial year 1997/1998. At the time it was seen as a continuing success story, but with hindsight it is considered that during Sir Richard Greenbury's tenure as head of the company, profit margins were pushed to untenable levels, and the loyalty of its customers was seriously eroded. The rising cost of using British suppliers was also a burden, as rival retailers increasingly imported their goods from low-cost countries, but M&S's belated switch to overseas suppliers undermined a core part of its appeal to the public. Another factor was the company's refusal until 2001 to accept any credit cards except its own store card. In addition, as an ageing and famously bureaucratic company, it was losing touch with potential younger customers, who were reluctant to shop with it. At the same time Greenbury, who had dominated the company, had his attention diverted by the Prime Minister's committee on directors' pay.

These factors combined to plunge M&S into a sudden slump, which took the company, its shareholders, who included hundreds of thousands of small investors, and nearly all retail analysts and business journalists, by surprise. The company's share price fell by more than two thirds, and its profits fell from more than a billion pounds in 1997 and 1998 to £145 million in the year ended 31 March 2001.
Your M&S promotional logo 2004-Present
Since the late 1990s M&S has experienced serious boardroom instability and has made a number of attempts to revive its business, with only partial success. By 1999, Online Shopping was brought in, and the company grew with new sales of fashion clothing. In 2001, with changes in its business focus such as accepting credit cards, the introduction of the "per una" clothing range designed by George Davies, accompanied by a redesign of its underlying business model, profits recovered somewhat and M&S recovered some of its market share, but it was soon evident that problems remained.

2002 and onwards

In 2004, M&S was in the throes of an attempted takeover by Arcadia Group & Bhs boss, Philip Green. On 12 July a recovery plan was announced which would involve selling off the financial services business to HSBC Bank plc, buying control of the per una range, closing the Gatesheadmarker Lifestore and stopping the expansion of its Simply Food line of stores. Philip Green withdrew his takeover bid after failing to get sufficient backing from shareholders. / .

M&S was ranked 17 in The Times' "Top 100 Graduate Employers 2008".

In February 2007, M&S announced the opening of the world’s largest M&S store outside the UK at Dubai Festival Citymarker.

On 2 October 2008, M&S opened its first mainland China store in Shanghai. Problems with the supply chain for the first few months of opening led Stuart Rose, M&S chairman, to describe failures in "basic shopkeeping".

Financial performance

M&S is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.

After fostering significant growth in recent years, mid-2008 saw share prices plunge to well under half their value of twelve months before, as M&S struggled to cope with more conservative shoppers in the credit crunch.

Until 1999 M&S's financial year ended on 31 March. Since then, the company has changed to reporting for 52 or 53 week periods, ending on variable dates.
Year ended Turnover (£ M) Profit before tax (£ M) Net profit (£ M) Basic eps (p)
28 March 2009 9,062.1 706.2 506.8 32.3
29 March 2008 9,022.0 1,129.1 821.0 49.2
31 March 2007 8,588.1 936.7 659.9 39.1
1 April 2006 7,797.7 745.7 520.6 36.4
2 April 2005 7,490.5 505.1 355.0 29.1
3 April 2004 8,301.5 781.6 452.3 24.2
29 March 2003 8,019.1 677.5 480.5 20.7
30 March 2002 8,135.4 335.9 153.0 5.4
31 March 2001 8,075.7 145.5 2.8 0.0
1 April 2000 8,195.5 417.5 258.7 9.0
31 March 1999 8,224.0 546.1 372.1 13.0
31 March 1998 8,243.3 1,155.0 815.9 28.6
31 March 1997 7,841.9 1,129.1 746.6 26.7
31 March 1996 7,233.7 965.8 652.6 455.8

Social and environmental policy

Cut flowers

War on Want criticised M&S, along with Tescomarker and Sainsbury'smarker, in its Growing Pains report for using its influence to squeeze overseas suppliers to constantly reduce their costs while boosting their own profits.

Look Behind the Label

In 2006 the Look Behind the Label marketing campaign was introduced. The aim of this campaign was to highlight to customers, the various ethical and environmentally friendly aspects, of the production and sourcing methods engaged in by M&S including: Fairtrade products, sustainable fishing and environmentally friendly textile dyes. All coffee and tea sold in M&S stores is now Fairtrade. in addition the company offers clothing lines made from Fairtrade Cotton in selected departments.

At Christmas the company introduces a range of food products to support the housing charity Shelter predominantly in the food to go range including a range of seasonal Christmas sandwiches.

Support for Israel

Anti-zionists have criticised the company for its support for the State of Israel. Former Chairman of M&S, Lord Marcus Sieff, wrote that support for the economic development of Israel was one of the fundamental objectives of M&S. In 1973 Sieff was a target for professional assassin Carlos the Jackal, who had been trained by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The PFLP had been orchestrating attacks against Jewish interests at that time; the assassination failed.

Anti-Zionist activists have campaigned against the company and some stores have had their signage altered and their goods re-labelled. There is currently a boycott held by Muslim and non-Muslim groups, some are passive while others actively target customers or promote the boycott to the general public.

Plan A

On 15 January 2007, M&S launched an initiative, known as "Plan A", to dramatically increase the environmental sustainability of the business within 5 years and expected to cost £200 million.

The plan covers "100 commitments over 5 years to address the key social and environmental challenges facing M&S today and in the future" with the tag-line "Because there is no Plan B". The commitments span five themes: climate change, waste, sustainable raw materials, 'fair partnership' and health, with the aim that, by 2012, it will:

  • Become carbon neutral
  • Send no waste to landfill
  • Extend sustainable sourcing
  • Help improve the lives of people in their supply chain
  • Help customers and employees live a healthier life-style

Despite an 18% fall in the share price in January 2008, following publication of their latest trading statement, the company confirmed that they would be continuing with the plan, saying that there were 'compelling commercial - as well as moral - reasons to do so'.

May 2008 saw the introduction of the 5p carrier bag scheme at M&S stores, with customers now paying 5p per standard sized vest carrier bag for food purchases. This implementation was brought about through the Plan A scheme, to try to discourage use of the traditional plastic bag. All profits from the sale of food bags go to Groundwork UK.

In becoming carbon neutral the company has committed to only use carbon offsetting as a last resort, restricted to cases "where it is required by government or where the technology for green air or road transport will not be available for the foreseeable future".

As of August 2008 M&S had three wind turbines in operation, one at Methlickmarker and two near Strichenmarker, generating enough power to supply three stores via the National Grid. In April 2009 the company began purchasing 2.6 TWh of renewable energy (wind and hydroelectric) from Npower, enough to power all Marks & Spencer stores and offices in England and Wales.

Company chairman Sir Stuart Rose is personally committed to further promoting green issues and the recycling of plastic bottles. He has also pledged to reduce non-glass wastage by 25% and plastic carrier bag usage by 33% in the near future.


Change of historic logo

During the height of the company's troubles at the beginning of the 21st century, the St Michael brand used as the selling label for all M&S products was discontinued in favour of Marks & Spencer and a new logo in the Optima typeface was introduced and began to appear in place of St Michael on product packaging. The same logo was also rolled out across store fascias and carrier bags. The St Michael name was subsequently adopted as a 'quality guarantee' and appeared as the St Michael Quality Promise on the back of food products, on the side of delivery vehicles and on in-store ordering receipts. This has since been phased out, although the store-ordering receipts given to customers still feature this 'seal of approval' on the bottom.

Your M&S

When Steve Sharp joined as marketing director in 2004, after being hired by new Chief Executive Sir Stuart Rose, he introduced a new promotional brand under the Your M&S banner, with a corresponding logo. This has now become the company's main brand in its advertising, online presence and in-store merchandising. The clean fonts and modern colours of the new image are somewhat incongruous alongside the traditional M&S signage and associated fittings that still adorn many of the unmodernised 'core' stores themselves. The only thing in common with the former design is the use of M&S traditional green in the ampersand of the new logo. In 2007 the same typeface used for the new M&S logo was adopted to replace the Optima logo used on product packaging and store fascias since 2000. This new logo is also beginning to appear on new-style sewn in clothing labels and presented in its linear, non-stacked form, complete with lime-green ampersand.

High profile television campaigns

The new look has been instrumental in the company's recent resurgence, particularly with the success of a new clothing campaign featuring the celebrated model, Twiggy, and younger models associated with the bohemian styles of 2005-6, and the new TV ad campaign for its food range. These adverts have the tagline This is not just food, this is M&S food and feature slow motion, close-up footage of various food products, described in a sultry voiceover by Dervla Kirwan, to an enticing instrumental song - most notably Fleetwood Mac's "Albatross" as well as Santana's "Samba Pa Ti", Groove Armada's "At the River" or Spandau Ballet's "True". These adverts have been referred to by both fans and critics as being food porn, with a number of other companies copying the idea, such as ALDI and, most recently, Waitrose.

New store format

A new store format designed by Urban Salon Architects has won much praise and is in the process of being rolled out across all stores, with a majority of stores being completed by the end of 2008.

Brighter look

The full new look makeover is a reworking of store design, including the gutting of old stores, and installation of a brighter, more spacious, modern and contemporary design, replacing carpets and laminate floors with white tile throughout (black tile in Foods) thus opening the floor instead of having pathways, having new contemporary white mannequins in new designs and poses, new displays and kit such as new design clothing rails, product stands (formerly known as "Lutons"), display and product walls, window display styles, larger fitting rooms, glass walls, till points, and general total updating of decals, signage, equipment, and lighting.

Several of the old 'Luton' format stores have received what is known internally as a 'Light Touch' re-fit, which involves bringing the store up-to-date with new floors, till points, mannequins and signage (the actual work differs per store) but not to the extent of a full refurbishment, as mentioned above. This occurs in stores that are subject to re-development or re-location.

Stacked logo

Self check-outs

M&S was the first retailer in the UK to introduce self checkout tills in the food-halls of a small number of trial stores back in 2002. Self Checkout was implemented in the general merchandise sections in 3 trial stores in 2006 and roll-out to flagship stores is in progress.

Product line history


Marks & Spencer were selling clothes under the St Margaret and St Michael label by the mid-1950s and launched their school uniforms in the early 1950s. The synthetic fibre Tricell was first used in 1957 and lasted until the 1970s and another synthetic fibre called Coutelle was first launched, nationally, by Marks & Spencer during 1960 and also lasted well in to the 1970s. Machine washable wool first appeared in 1972 and Lycra hosiery first came in during 1986 .


They launched their own brands of domestic products, such as washing powder and aluminium foil in 1972, under the brand name of 'House-care'..


A Gastropub ready meal.
Boil-in-the-bag and sachet meals were first pioneered by M&S in 1972 and the award winning Gastropub food range was launched in 2004 .


M&S markets its womenswear under the following brand names:

  • Autograph
  • Autograph Weekend
  • Petite Collection (selected stores only)
  • Limited Collection (larger stores only)
  • M&S Maternity (larger stores only)
  • Per Una - designer fashion garments
  • Per Una Petite (only available online)
  • Portfolio (headed by Marie Helvin)
  • Classic Collection
  • Bridal (only available online)
  • Party, Party, Party!- Seasonal party clothes.
  • Katy Livingston (up market sports clothes and merchandise relating to the British athlete Katy Livingston)
  • Indigo

Plus range maternity‘s larger sizes of maternity clothes were absorbed in to the already existing 'Limited Collection Maternity', under the name of 'M&S Maternity' in 2008 to simplify administration.

The following are product ranges:

  • Long & Tall (only available online)
  • Denim-jeans.
  • Fair trade - as the name suggests, it is fair trade cotton T-shirts from Indiamarker, Sri Lankamarker, Pakistanmarker and Senegalmarker
  • Designer discount- 'value' discount designer clothes
  • Wearing the waste - coats and bags made out of recycled plastic bottles.
  • The Zandra Rhodes collection- upmarket woollen clothes modelled and made by the British fashion designer Zandra Rhodes,CBE/RDI.

The Indigo collection

This is a new range, aimed at the core, 35-45, feminine businesswoman type. It is meant to offer all that is close to her feminine side. The shoes, trousers and jeans will be UK-sourced and the T-shirts will involve Fair trade cotton from Senegalmarker, Indiamarker and Pakistanmarker. Beachwear may be added to the list if the success continues.

It has a sub-brand product range called 'denim' which deals with women's jeans.


This is a new range, aimed at the core 55-65 retired woman. It is meant to offer all that is close to her feminine side. The shoes, trouser suits, blouses and frocks will be UK sourced and the T-shirts will involve Fair trade cotton from Indiamarker and Pakistanmarker. It has incorporated some products from the former 'Perfect' and 'Essential' sub-brands .

Per Una

per una three hearts logo.

Per Una is a range of younger female's clothing sold at M&S stores, launched on September 28, 2001 as a joint venture between M&S and Next founder George Davies. The brand name means for one (woman) in Italian. All per Una items include the three hearts logo, inspired by a postcard seen by Davies while on holiday in Italy.

Per Una has been a major success for the company, and in October 2004, M&S bought the brand in a £125 million, two-year service contract with George Davies.Mr Davies was to stay on for at least two years to run the company, with 12 months notice required if he wished to leave.

Designer discount is their discounted product line.

Breakthrough Breast Cancer

M&S periodicly markets charitable clothes for Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

Lingerie and hosiery

M&S markets its lingerie and hosiery under the following brand names:

  • Ceriso
  • Per Una
  • Autograph
  • Ultimate
  • Adored
  • Limited Collection
  • Body
  • Thermal luxury


  • Classic (women)
  • Autograph (both sexes)
  • Collezione (men)
  • Footglove (both sexes)
  • Airflex™(men)
  • Limited Collection (women)
  • Per Una (women)
  • Portfolio (women)
  • Wide Fit (both sexes)


M&S markets its childrenswear under the following brand names:

The 'Themed' clothing line merged with Character shop in 2008.


M&S markets its menswear under the following brand names:

  • Blue Harbour - Britain's largest men's casual brand, includes the sub-brands Heritage and Luxury. Blue Harbour Golf returns to selected stores November 2009
  • North Coast - Cool, easy and relaxed casuals.
  • Autograph - Smart-casual clothing exclusively designed for M&S by designers such as Nigel Hall and Jeffery West.
  • Collezione - Formal, Italian inspired clothing.

The following are product ranges:

  • Stormwear - water-repellent clothing, includes denim, shorts, chinos, coats, footwear, thermal golves and suits.
  • Big & Tall - larger sized clothing only available from
  • Ultimate - high end suits, trousers, shirts, ties and blazers.
  • Tailoring - formal shirts, ties, and formal accessories.
  • The Sartorial Collection - sartorial suits.
  • Cool & Fresh - keeps you cool and fresh by absorbing excess moisture on the skin.
  • Climate Control - keeps you cool in the summer and warm in the winter using technology from NASAmarker.
  • Wearing the waste - coats and anoraks made out of recycled plastic bottles.

Cosmetics and Perfumes

  • Autograph (both male and female)
  • Harvard
  • Autograph Sport
  • Woodspice
  • Blue Energy
  • Per Una
  • Isis (both sexes)
  • Florentyna
  • Natural Beauty
  • Earth Spa
  • InBloom
  • Royal jelly
  • Ingredients
  • Formula - skincare and suncare
  • Formula For Men
  • Cotton Collection (toiletries and soaps).
  • Floral collection (toiletries and soaps).
  • Timothy Everest (seasonal men's perfume)


  • Furniture - beds , sofas, bedroom suites, bathroom furniture, dining suites.
  • Kitchens - Lyon crockery, kitchen electrical, utensils, pans and pans made by Autograph.
  • Frenchay- French made, utilitarian/good value plastic home ware, clothes pegs, clothes hangers, etc.
  • Bathrooms - towels, linen baskets, accessories.
  • Supima bedding and pillows.
  • Soft furnishings - cushions, throws, curtains.
  • Hard furnishings - Adente vases, candles, ornaments, lamp stands.
  • Travel- The Lexington light and Ontario heavy luggage lines.
  • Technology - audio and visual equipment (TVs, DVD players, Blu-Ray Players, games consoles, iPods and more), DVDs and Blu-Rays, communication devices (telephones, mobiles etc), household electricals, white goods.
  • Toy shop - children's toys.


In 2006 the company launched a range of domestic technology products. Thirty-six stores now offer this range. Additional services offered include television installation and technical help.

Food and drink

A Gastropub ready meal.
  • Gastropubready meal inspired by pub cuisine for home cooking. It got a 'Golden pub-meal commendation' in 2005.
  • Freerange –- free-range eggs, Oakham chicken and field-bred pork. Oakham chicken is exclusive to M&S, and is not from the Rutlandmarker town of Oakhammarker. Free-range eggs have been on sale since 1997 and M&S is deeply committed to upholding animal welfare.
  • Wine – a worldwide selection of wine, including Chardonnay and Shiraz
  • Cook Indian - ready-made Indian takeaway.
  • Cook Chinese - ready-made Chinese takeaway.
  • Beer - UK and EU-sourced beers.
  • Fair trade – Fair trade food, tea, coffee and wine
  • Wise Buys – discount and value food
  • Lunchtogo - upmarket and businessmens' meals.


M&S has an extensive wine and beer range.

In 2006 and 2007, M&S entered over a hundred of its own wines into two wine competitions, The Decanter World Wine Awards and The International Wine Challenge. Both years, almost every wine won an award, ranging from the 2005 Secano Pinot Noir, Leyda Valley, Chile (Best Pinot Noir in the world for under £10) to the Rosada Cava (Commended).

The gift shop

It sells cut flower, greetings cards, Christmas hampers and upmarket chocolates.

The 2008-9 restructuring plan

As part of this plan, 8 sub-brands that were deemed to be unprofitable or superfluous were discontinued, merged or relaunched in 2008.

  • Floor 1 discount brands – women's discount fashion clothes (replaced by the 'Designer discount' line).
  • Romper-suit republic – baby clothes (was only available online).
  • The Shirt-sleeve empire – boys' shirts (was only available online).
  • Essential – up market skirts and t-shirts (merged in to Portfolio, along with Perfect).
  • Perfect – upmarket trousers, skirts and blouses (merged in to Portfolio, along with Essential)
  • Plus range maternity (large stores only. Merged with Limited Collection Maternity as 'M&S Maternity'.)
  • Limited Collection Maternity (merged with Plus Range Maternity as 'M&S Maternity'.)
  • Themed (merged in to Character shop)

'Plus range maternity – larger sizes of maternity clothes were absorbed in to the already existing 'Limited Collection Maternity', under the name of 'M&S Maternity' in 2008 to simplify administration.

The children's 'Themed' clothing line was likewise merged with Character shop in 2008.

The women's 'Perfect' and 'Essential' sub-brands were largely relaunched in 2009 as the 'Portfolio' range, but with out the high end designer blouses. Perfect still operates in men's rain coats and cookware.

Conde Nast (M&S clothes, not the magazine) designer clothes were a planned sub-brand that was not launched because of the credit crunch and became part of the 'Indigo Collection' and 'Portfolio' lines.

Store closures

In addition to this, twenty two unprofitable and minor food store, such as the ones at Riponmarker and Balham were closed in early 2009 as part of a cost cutting measure.

Head Office locations


The headquarters of M&S was for 100 years at Michael House, 55 Baker Street, Londonmarker; during World War II these offices were used by the Special Operations Executive for secret missions in Occupied Europe. In 2004 the company moved to a new headquarters at Waterside House in the new Paddington Basinmarker, London.

Across the UK

As well as the main offices in London, there are a number of other head office sites across the UK; Stockley Park (IT Services), Salford Quaysmarker (Marks & Spencer Shared Services Ltd. which provides human resources, and finance administration), Chestermarker (HSBC's M&S Money and Retail Customer Services), and Draycott (per una).


The company has overseas sourcing offices in Malaysiamarker, Hong Kongmarker, Indiamarker, Bangladeshmarker, Turkeymarker and Sri Lankamarker.

UK stores

M&S have over 600 stores throughout the United Kingdom, with nearly 1.2 million square metres (12.5 million square feet) of selling space. This includes the flagship, and largest, store, Marble Archmarker, Londonmarker, on Oxford Streetmarker, which has around of shop floor. The second largest store is in Warringtonmarker, although the forthcoming M&S Megastore in Leedsmarker will take over as the largest outside London. The third largest store is at the Sprucefield Centremarker in Lisburnmarker, Northern Ireland. In 1999 M&S opened its store in Manchestermarker's Exchange Square, which was rebuilt following the 1996 Manchester bombingmarker when the store was destroyed. When it re-opened it was the largest M&S store with of retail space, but half was subsequently sold to the more-upmarket department store Selfridges, the company's second site in Manchester.

Twenty four hour trading

Before Christmas 2006, twenty two M&S stores were open for 24-hour trading including the recently-opened new retail park stores at Boltonmarker Middlebrook and at the Abbey Centre, Newtownabbeymarker, Northern Irelandmarker.

Store formats

Core stores

M&S core stores typically feature a selection of the company's clothing ranges and a M&S Food hall. The range of clothing sold and the space given to it depends on the store's location and customer demographic (an example would be that some London stores do not stock the Classic Collection, but stock Limited Collection and a full Autograph range).

M&S Food hall

In 2000, all the St Michael Food hall supermarkets were renamed M&S Food hall, when Marks & Spencer dropped the St Michael brand in 2000. Each M&S Food hall sells groceries, which are all under the Marks & Spencer brand. However, in 2009 the company announced plans to sell a limited range of other brands, such as Coca-Cola and Stella Artois, the first time in its history that it will do so.


Most M&S stores feature some sort of hospitality offering, usually in the form of an M&S Café. These cafés were formerly known as Café Revive and many old format stores still brand them as such. The café offering typically includes coffees and teas (all fairtrade), pastries, toasted sandwiches, soups and cakes. The company also trialled the opening of an Espresso Bar in some stores, which specialised in drinks only, however these have subsequently been rebranded as M&S Cafés.

Many large stores, such as Westfield, White Citymarker, Cribbs Causeway and Newcastle, also offer other hospitality outlets, such as a modern Deli Bar (champagne, canapés, seafood), Restaurant (table service – the first of which was opened in Newcastle) M&S Kitchen (traditional home cooking & lunches) or Hot Food To Go (burgers, chips, soups). Many of these outlets are run in conjunction with Compass and even in smaller stores they also partner up to offer ready made baguettes as part of the standard Food To Go offering.

Some stores are undergoing a makeover such as the recent upgrade in Cambridge store and has been rebranded Cafe Refresh.

Home Stores

In 2007, M&S announced that new, dedicated stores for home furnishings were to be launched. Stores have now been opened in Cheltenhammarker in Gloucestershiremarker, Lisburnmarker in Northern Irelandmarker and in the Barton Square section of The Trafford Centremarker, Manchester.. On 19 November 2009 Aberdeenmarker became the first dedicated homeware store in Scotland.

Outlet Stores

As of 2009, M&S have 39 outlet stores and growth expansion plans for future. The Outlet division offers M&S products with the majority of them discounting at least 30% from the original selling price. The first of these stores opened at Ashfordmarker in Kentmarker in 2000. Many of the Outlet stores are in locations such as retail parks and outlet centres, though some, including the stores in Woolwichmarker, South London and Newton Abbotmarker, Devon were previously main M&S stores which converted to the Outlet format.

M&S Simply Food

M&S is in the middle of a programme to open four hundred Simply Food stores selling predominantly food but with most also carrying a small selection of general merchandise. The first of the 'Simply Food' stores were in Twickenhammarker and Surbitonmarker.

Franchise network at railway stations and motorway service stations

A number of these stores are run under franchise agreements:

In addition to this, 22 unprofitable and minor food store, like the ones at Riponmarker and Balham were closed in early 2009 as part of a cost cutting measure.

Foreign stores

M&S store at Wenceslas square in Prague, Czech Republic

There are currently stores located in the following countries: Bahrainmarker, Bermudamarker, Bulgariamarker, Chinamarker, Croatiamarker, Cyprusmarker, Czech Republicmarker, Egyptmarker, Estoniamarker, Gibraltarmarker, Greecemarker, Guernseymarker, Hong Kongmarker, Hungarymarker, Indiamarker, Irelandmarker, Indonesiamarker, Jerseymarker, Kuwaitmarker, Latviamarker, Libyamarker, Lithuaniamarker, Malaysiamarker, Maltamarker, Montenegromarker, Omanmarker, Philippinesmarker, Polandmarker, Qatarmarker, Romaniamarker, Russiamarker, Saudi Arabiamarker, Singaporemarker, Serbiamarker, Slovakiamarker, Sloveniamarker, South Koreamarker, Spainmarker, Switzerlandmarker, Thailandmarker, Turkeymarker, Ukrainemarker and The United Arab Emiratesmarker.

Irish stores

M&S opened its first store in Ireland on Dublin'smarker Mary Street in 1979 (now part of the Jervis Shopping Centremarker), then Grafton Street, followed in 1988, Cork in 1989, then in 1996 the Grafton Street location to its present location in the former Brown Thomas store and finally the first out-of-town store in Liffey Valleymarker in October 1998. There are now eighteen Republic of Ireland stores, including three Simply Food stores. The new Grafton Street store now boasts M&S's only 'The Restaurant' offering outside of the UK. The newest store opened in Clonmelmarker on 25 June 2009 as an anchor for the Showgrounds shopping centre. The Clonmel store contains a vast amount of floor space for the M&S clothing range, a reasonably sized M&S Café and a food hall with all the current decor and fittings throughout the store. The Irish stores use a similar format and product line to the UK stores, including use of the M&S logo (which at Liffey Valley is the only logo used on exterior signs since a June 2007 refit and since opening in Killarneymarker).

The company is committed to the expansion of its Irish operations with a number of new stores due to open in 2009 including Sligomarker, Clonmelmarker (opened 25 June 2009), Navanmarker, and Limerickmarker which when opened will be one of the largest stores in Ireland at but will be overtaken shortly after by a new store in Swords, County Dublinmarker at .

The largest M&S stores in Ireland are at the Liffey Valley Shopping Centremarker located in Lucan, County Dublinmarker/Clondalkinmarker in South Dublin, at Mary Street in Dublin City Centre and at Dundrum Town Centremarker in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown.

The company's website in Ireland has received criticism for having its prices in Pound sterling and not in euros, and for providing a search for its Irish stores through a "UK Store Finder".

Senior management

The following have served as the Chairman of the company since it was founded:

Name Role Salary Bonus Total
Kate Bostock Chief Executive Officer £500,000 £175,000 £675,000
Stuart Rose Executive Chairman of the Board £1,130,000 £1,130,000
Ian Dyson Group Finance & Operations Director £675,000 £675,000
Steven Sharp Executive Director of Marketing, E-commerce, Store Design & Development £565,000 £565,000


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