Amazon is expected to begin selling Marks & Spencer clothing and home furnishings from next year.
The deal is understood to relate only to Amazon.co.uk, which does not currently sell clothing products. Amazon.com has a clothing store and sells a variety of products from different suppliers. It is likely that Amazon.co.uk has plans to do the same.
The deal will also see Amazon Services Europe host and provide the technology behind the Marks & Spencer-branded website and its in-store and telephone ordering and customer services systems. But Marks & Spencer will remain responsible for the management and marketing of its website, customer service operations, warehousing and distribution.
Marks & Spencer director for marketing & e-commerce Steven Sharp says: “Marks & Spencer already has a successful website, with more than 24 million visits each year, but our e-commerce and customer-ordering capabilities have yet to reach their full potential. A partnership with Amazon will help us to achieve this, while allowing us to concentrate on our core business of retailing.”
Marks & Spencer is not the only high street retailer to have called upon Amazon’s online retail skills. The company helps Waterstone’s and Borders to run their websites. But unlike the arrangement with M&S, Amazon also handles order fulfilment.