Marks & Spencer results - Introduction

Engagement with RTTT

Marks & Spencer was one of the first companies to sign up to the Race to the Top project in 2001. It worked constructively with other project partners to develop and test the data collection methods used by the project. Marks & Spencer participated in the pilot year (2002) and in that year submitted a full data set. The company did not supply data in 2003, and on 22 September sent a letter to RTTT and partners explaining that it would not be participating in the project in 2003-4.

Company overview

Marks & Spencer is a 'minor multiple' retailer, with 3% market share of the UK retail food market. 45% of its UK sales are food, exclusively own-brand. The group has 326 stores in the UK. In 2001, M&S took the decision to sell all most of its stores abroad, as part of a recovery strategy. Profits in 2002-3 £480.5 million on sales of just over £8 billion. 40% of its 326 stores are in London and the Southeast. Around 60% of sales are to ABC1 social classes.

2003 results: overview

No data were submitted.

A store shelf survey of local and locality foods stocked by retailers was conducted by Sustain and the NFWI; results for Marks & Spencer can be found here.

Comments from Marks & Spencer

"Marks & Spencer chose not to take part 2003 due mainly to the lack of engagement in Race To The Top by the largest UK supermarket retailers. Without the participation of the majority of the marketplace any context of performance was lost.

"That said, we believe that the legacy of Race To The Top is alive and well. Much of what has been learned from NGO participants has been included is on-going forms of benchmarking such as Compassionate Supermarket of the Year (CIWF) and Organic Supermarket of the Year (Soil Association). Marks & Spencer has reflected our learning in the development of CSR / Sustainability reporting now available on our website and set to feature in our 2004 CSR Report published in June 2004."

Rowland Hill, Corporate Social Responsibility / Sustainable Development, M&S.

top Posted: 26-Nov-2003

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