M&S hits multi-channel targets

Marks & Spencer is on track to reach its goal of £500 million in sales from its M&S Direct operation in 2010/11 following a 49 per cent rise in revenues from the channel in the first half of this financial year.

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This is nearly double the 27 per cent growth achieved for the previous full year and is a cornerstone of a growth strategy based around multi-channel retailing.

M&S launched a mobile shopping app in May, claiming a first-mover advantage, and has now gained over 1.3 million unique users. At the same time, it is looking to re-platform to accelerate growth. According to the retailer, “the Amazon platform performs well, but will restrict our future growth.”

Investment into new infrastructure is being made to drive M&S’s “Shop Your Way” service which enables customers to place clothing, beauty and homeware orders either in stores, online or over the phone. They can then opt for delivery to either a nominated address or free to their nearest store for collection.

Since starting a trial in July 2009, the service has now been rolled out to 300 stores. M&S says 13 per cent of its customers order online for in-store collection. Sales of food online, including wine, flowers and party food, have reached £80 million and are forecast to hit £150 million by 2013. Multichannel retailing overall is forecast to deliver up to £1 billion in sales in three years’ time.

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