ABOUT MARKS & SPENCER MALAYSIA
Marks & Spencer was established in 1958 and has since become an icon of quality and style. Initially trading under the St. Michael name, the first store operated in a John Little store. The St. Michael name was officially changed to Marks & Spencer in 1994. Marks & Spencer offers a range of Men's and Women's fashion, lingerie, frozen ready meals, confectionaries, fine wines, beauty products, and toiletries. The retailer is also known for its green credentials as a result of its five-year eco Plan A to make it carbon neutral and free of landfill waste by 2012.
There are currently four Marks & Spencer stores in Malaysia located at Suria KLCC, Bandar Utama, The Gardens Mall, and Sunway Pyramid Phase II.
The History of Marks & Spencer
Marks & Spencer began with Michael Marks selling penny goods from a market stall in Leeds (UK) in 1884. He sold quality small goods all for one penny, using the slogan "Don’t ask the price, it's a penny". In 1894, Michael asked Tom Spencer to join him and the famous partnership of Marks & Spencer was born. Marks & Spencer became a Public Limited Company in London in 1926. The St. Michael trademark was introduced in 1928 as a guarantee of quality and value. Initially used only on selected foods, the St. Michael range was extended so that by the late 1950s all goods sold bore the name. This logo is no longer used but Marks & Spencer is still the dominant brand trademark, with M&S being used more frequently in recent years in the UK. Over the years, our brand name has become synonymous with quality, value, service, innovation and trust. The business and its employees are focused on our customers and driven by these principles.
Forefront of Innovation
Marks & Spencer has always been an innovator in technology. In 1934 the company was the first British retailer to set up its own research laboratory to pioneer new fabrics. Thanks to its advanced textile technology laboratories and close relationships with suppliers, easy-care synthetic fibres have long been part of the Marks & Spencer clothing ranges. Meanwhile, the food laboratories were also a centre of excellence, setting high standards of hygiene. In the 1970s and 1980s the company pioneered ready meals, speciality dishes and sandwiches. In 2000, a total of 12 Marks & Spencer products were awarded Millenium Product Status –which promotes forward-thinking products created in the United Kingdom –the highest number ever awarded to a single company. The products included body sensor hosiery; machine washable wool tailoring; non-iron cotton and secret support fabrics.
Clothing is segmented by sub-brand for ease of shopping. From March 2000, the womenswear Autograph range was launched, initially to bring designer clothing to the high street. Autograph is now a premium sub-brand at our 'best' price point. This was followed by the launch of the Per Una range in September 2001 and Limited Collection in February 2003. In 2005, as design, production, and turnaround times decrease the range has become truly 'Limited' with new ranges coming into stores every six weeks. In late 2004 we also re-launched the Classic Collection which has driven an increase in our market share of the 55-plus age group. In January 2002 the menswear Blue Harbour range was launched, this brand is now the biggest casual wear brand for men in the UK. Autograph for men was re-launched in August 2005, providing a wider offer of designer-led pieces from British designers Timothy Everett and Nigel Hall. These sub-brands are also evident in our lingerie and childrenswear product offer.
In 2001 the first format 'Simply Food' stores opened in London. The company now has over 300 (including some stores which are operated through Franchise partners in railway stations, airports and motorway service stations). Food has always been an important part of the business and today accounts for almost 50% of our UK business turnover.
Internationally, the franchise operation developed out of the Export Corporation, which started during World War II. At this point, it simply involved selling the goods on to another retailer. However, over the years it has evolved into a close working relationship. Marks & Spencer nurtures and supports its partners and is very closely involved in how the franchise stores are run.
Today the Marks & Spencer brand is exported to the partner, as well as the merchandise. We now operate over 280 stores with partners in 42 countries around the world including wholly-owned subsidiaries in Hong Kong and the Republic of Ireland.
In 2007, the expansion of the International Business operation became one of the key 5 priorities for Marks & Spencer PLC. In 2008 we completed two Joint Venture deals with existing franchise partners in Greece and Czech Republic.