Marks & Spencer

Marks and Spencer Group plc (commonly abbreviated to M&S and colloquially known as Marks's or Marks & Sparks) is a major British multinational retailer with headquarters in London, England, that specialises in selling clothing, home products and food products. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index, having previously been in the FTSE 100 Index from its creation until 2019.[3]

Marks & Spencer Group plc
TypePublic limited company
FTSE 250 Component
Founded1884; 137 years ago (1884)
Leeds, United Kingdom
FounderMichael Marks
Thomas Spencer
HeadquartersLondon, England, UK
Number of locations
1463 (2019)
Area served
Key people
  • Per Una
  • Autograph
  • Goodmove
  • Rosie
  • Blue Harbour
  • M&S Collection
  • Boutique
  • Jaeger
  • M&S Energy
Revenue£10,181.9 million (2020)[1]
£254.8 million (2020)[1]
£27.4 million (2020)[1]
Number of employees
78,000 (2021)[2]

M&S was founded in 1884 by Michael Marks and Thomas Spencer in Leeds. M&S currently has 959 stores across the UK, including 615 that only sell food products and, through its television advertising, asserts the exclusive nature and luxury of its food and beverages. It also offers an online food delivery service through a joint venture with Ocado.

In 1998, the company became the first British retailer to make a pre-tax profit of over £1 billion,[4] although subsequently it went into a sudden slump, which took the company and its stakeholders by surprise. In November 2009, it was announced that Marc Bolland, formerly of Morrisons,[5] would take over as chief executive from executive chairman Sir Stuart Rose in early 2010; Rose remained executive chairman until July 2010 and then chairman until January 2011, when he was replaced by Robert Swannell.[6][7] In recent years, its clothing sales have fallen whilst food sales have increased after axing the St. Michael moniker for its own brand. The company also began to sell branded goods such as Kellogg's Corn Flakes in November 2008.[8]

On 22 May 2018, it was confirmed that over 100 stores will have closed by 2022 in a "radical" plan. Whether more stores would close was yet to be confirmed.[9]

On 18 August 2020, M&S stated that they were to cut 7,000 jobs over the next three months owing to the coronavirus pandemic.[10]

On 26 May 2021, the company announced plans to close another 30 shops over the next 10 years as part of its turnaround plan.[11]