Assessing the M&S Simply Food brand

Each week in association with retail and marketing consultancy Pragma, MarketingWeek.co.uk looks at a high-profile UK brand, assessing its performance against a range of criteria and offering suggestions to improve its overall score. Marks for each section are given out of five stars.

M&S Simply Food: Overall rating ****

Brand****

Simply Food provides people who are short on time with time saving meal solutions. There are now 187 Simply Food stores with outlets on high streets, at railway stations, petrol forecourts, airports and motorway service stations.

Although the fashion department at M&S has had its ups and downs, the food offer has remained consistently strong and high quality.

Experience****

Simply Food feels like a modern, quality food store whose key challenge has been space. With so many food lines squeezed into relatively small units the stores feel cramped, especially at busy times. Simply Food is also a victim of its success in that queues can circle the store, inhibiting browsing and causing frustration for people `on the go’. The number of fridges and the austere décor creates a slightly unwelcoming environment.

Product****

Simply Food has an in-store bakery, fresh coffee, newspapers and magazines, over 1,600 speciality food products and select grocery items including ready meals, fresh produce, ‘Food to Go’ branded sandwiches, salads, snacks and a fairly comprehensive wine selection. The ready meal selection is superb, with traditional favourites as well as a `Gastropub’ selection of meals.

One failing is the lack of lunch box items for children and a choice of some lower priced snacks to cater for a family’s tastes. Simply Food is great if you want a halloumi and bean cassoulet or hoisin duck noodles, not so great if you want a small bag of cheese & onion crisps.

Value Positioning****

You pay more for M&S food than for goods at supermarkets, but consumers know that. For the premium you receive better quality, more adventurous recipes, better packaging and often healthier and fresher ingredients. The extra expense may be justified if you take into account the quality.

Recommendations

1. Test new methods to reduce peak-time queuing.

2. Warmer décor to create a more inviting environment.

3. Use windows better to communicate new products and lines.

4. Introduce more snacks and lunch box items.

www.pragmauk.com

Latest from Marketing Week

PLEASE SIGN IN OR REGISTER. IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

Register and receive the best content from the only title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we will be your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here