New M&S boss expanding own brand strategy - Business News - Business - The Independent

New M&S boss expanding own brand strategy

The new chief executive of Marks & Spencer today unveiled an "Only at M&S" campaign to bolster the company's own brand as part of his long-awaited vision for the business.





Marc Bolland, who joined M&S from supermarket Morrisons six months ago, said this would involve increasing the M&S brand in clothing, scaling back the number of non-M&S food lines from 400 to 100 and revamping the store's website.



Unveiling his three-year plan for the household name, Mr Bolland, 51, said the company would invest up to £900 million on improving the business, up from an earmarked £550 million. This will include £600 million investment in the UK.



The Dutchman's strategic review came as M&S, which employs 75,000 staff in nearly 1,000 UK and international stores, reported a 17% rise in half-year profits to £348.6 million for the 26 weeks to October 2.



Introducing his plan, Mr Bolland said: "The business is in good shape and we have strong foundations on which to build through evolution not revolution."



He added: "This is a good business, with good results. I'm building on the strengths of the company. We're taking logical steps, we don't want to be radical."



Mr Bolland arrived in May with a formidable reputation, having turned Morrisons into a stronger competitor to Tesco, Sainsbury's and Asda, with growth that bettered its bigger rivals.



The City has been greatly anticipating this first strategic outline from the chief executive, just ahead of the key Christmas trading period.



Mr Bolland said the company's first priority for the 2010 to 2013 plan would be the core UK business.



In clothing, as well as boosting the chain's own brand, Mr Bolland will look to invest in its sub-brands - such as womenswear ranges Per Una and Indigo Collection - through improved marketing and clearer positioning in stores.



Two years ago, M&S broke with 85 years of tradition by selling some of Britain's best-loved food brands - such as Heinz Baked Beans, PG Tips and Kellogg's Cornflakes - in its stores alongside its own label foods.



But Mr Bolland said branded foods will only play a role where M&S cannot develop its own, better alternative.



While reducing the number of non-M&S lines, the company will increase the total range from 7,000 to 8,000 lines, after reorganising food hall space.



Mr Bolland said £150 million will go into the group's online business, with a goal to double revenue by 2013-14.



The chief executive said the company would end its website collaboration with Amazon and build and manage its own new platform for http://www.marksandspencers.com.



With retail space, M&S aims for 95% of the population to be within 30 minutes drive of a full-line store by 2015. The number of Simply Food stores is set to increase as well.



Mr Bolland said he wanted to boost international sales to between £800 million and £1 billion, but stopped short of earmarking the opening of any new stores in continental Europe. He said India, and Shanghai, in China, were two priority international markets.



Neil Saunders, consulting director at retail analyst Verdict, said Mr Bolland had to demonstrate how he would build on the stable foundations laid by Sir Stuart Rose, his predecessor.



Mr Saunders said: "Today's update gave us a first glimpse of his architectural blueprint, and the plans look extremely sound.



"While they do not represent a radical departure for the company, they show a very sound grasp of the fundamental issues M&S needs to address across all categories and lay out a clear sense of direction for the business."



Keith Bowman, an equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers, said the new strategy comes with risks.



He said: "The M&S brand has relied on an ageing customer base for some time now, with Mr Bolland hoping that he can excite younger fashion-orientated consumers.



"A move away from big branded food products could diminish the potential to increase the company as the destination for the 'big weekly shop', while a slow pace of international growth might leave the door open for others in the meantime to build market share."



In the half-year results, M&S said total sales were up 5.4% to £4.6 billion, while like-for-like sales rose 4.4% in the UK.



General merchandise sales were up 6.3% on a same-store basis, driven by strong sales in clothing as celebrity-packed TV adverts featuring model Twiggy, X-Factor judge Dannii Minogue and retired footballer Jamie Redknapp brought an extra 1.8 million customers into its stores.



In food, like-for-like sales were up 2.6%, with promotions such as the Dine-In for £10 range proving popular.



Website sales were up 49% in the first half of the year, while international sales, which account for 10.1% of total group revenues, were up 3.8% in the period.

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
property
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
The programme sees four specialists creating what they believe are three perfect couples, based on scientific matchmaking. The couples will not meet until they walk down the aisle together
tvUK wedding show jilted
Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Sport
Mikel Arteta pictured during Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal
champions league
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams in the video of the song, which has been accused of justifying rape
music...and he had 'almost no part' in writing it
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Sales Executive

£20 - 24k (Uncapped Commission - £35k Year 1 OTE): Guru Careers: We are seekin...

Payroll & Accounts Assistant

£20 - 24k + Benefits: Guru Careers: This is a great opportunity for an enthusi...

SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £280 - £320 p/d - 6 months

£280 - £320 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

Senior BA - Insurance **URGENT**

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week