M&S: redundancies, results, "reMarksable value"

Date : 18 August 2020

Laura Jacobson

Head of Insight - RA UK

7,000 roles are at risk at M&S, as the retailer reports an improving food performance and relaunch of its value campaign.

Streamlining the business

M&S is embarking on consultations that is expected to result in 7,000 roles being cut over the next three months. Areas impacted include its central support centre, regional management and UK stores.

This comes as a result of a shift in trade from stores to online, ongoing underperformance of its clothing & home business, and greater working flexibility achieved during the peak of the pandemic.

The news follows restructure plans announced last month placing 950 roles at risk.

Food performance recovering

The retailer reports food sales up 2.5% in the 13 weeks to 8th August 2020. This is an improving trend from the 19 week data ending 8th August, in which food sales declined -1.1%.

Certain areas of the food business have been particularly heavily impacted due to changing lifestyle and travel patterns. Excluding the impact of closures in its hospitality and travel franchise units, like-for-like sales grew 10.6% in the 13 week period.

Doubling down on value messaging

Eighteen months after launch, M&S is re-emphasising its "ReMarksable value" campaign. This includes price investment in 240 staple grocery lines, benchmarked against key competitors.

M&S Food MD Stuart Machin commented: "We will never compromise on our quality, but our strategy is to maintain our high sourcing standards whilst providing truly better value for customers and our early work is already starting to resonate."

New ambient food warehouse

M&S is set to open a new national distribution centre in Milton Keynes, which will expand its food capacity and accelerate the modernisation of its end to end supply chain.

The new facility spans 365.000 sq ft and is due to become operational by September. It will create 360 new jobs and will be operated by XPO Logistics. The site will supply ambient M&S Food items, in addition to a broader range of cleaning and household products, to the South of England regions increase M&S Food’s ambient product capacity by up to 60%.

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