Marks & Spencer Group plc (also known as M&S) is a major British multinational retailer headquartered in Westminster, London that specialises in selling high quality clothing, home products and food products. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.
M&S was founded in 1884 by Michael Marks and Thomas Spencer in Leeds. The company also began to sell branded goods like Kellogg's Corn Flakes in November 2008. M&S currently has 959 stores across the U.K. including 615 that only sell food products.
In 1998, the company became the first British retailer to make a pre-tax profit of over £1 billion, although subsequently it went into a sudden slump, which took the company and its stakeholders by surprise. In November 2009, it was announced that Marc Bolland, formerly of Morrisons, would take over as chief executive from executive chairman Stuart Rose in early 2010; Rose remained in the role of non-executive chairman until he was replaced by Robert Swannell in January 2011. In recent years, its clothing sales have fallen whilst food sales have increased after axing the St. Michael brand name for their own brand.
On 22 May 2018, it was confirmed that over 100 stores will have closed by 2022 in a "radical" plan. Whether more stores will close is yet to be confirmed.
|Marks & Spencer Group plc|
|Public limited company|
|Traded as||LSE: MKS|
FTSE 100 Component
Leeds, United Kingdom
|Headquarters||London, United Kingdom|
Number of locations
|Archie Norman (Chairman)|
M&S Bank (owned by HSBC)
|Revenue||£10,377.3 million (2019)|
|£601.0 million (2019)|
|£37.3 million (2019)|
Number of employees
The company was founded by a partnership between Michael Marks, a Polish Jew from Słonim (Marks was born into a Polish-Jewish family, a Polish refugee living in the Russian Empire, now in Belarus), and Thomas Spencer, a cashier from the English market town of Skipton in North Yorkshire. On his arrival in England, Marks worked for a company in Leeds, called Barran, which employed refugees (see Sir John Barran, 1st Baronet). In 1884 he met Isaac Jowitt Dewhirst while looking for work. Dewhirst lent Marks £5 which he used to establish his Penny Bazaar on Kirkgate Market, in Leeds. Dewhirst also taught him a little English. Dewhirst's cashier was Tom Spencer, a bookkeeper, whose second wife, Agnes, helped improve Marks' English. In 1894, when Marks acquired a permanent stall in Leeds' covered market, he invited Spencer to become his partner.
In 1901 Marks moved to the Birkenhead open market where he amalgamated with Spencer. The pair were allocated stall numbers 11 & 12 in the centre aisle in 1903, and there they opened the famous Penny Bazaar. The company left Birkenhead Market on 24 February 1923.
The next few years saw Michael Marks and Tom Spencer open market stalls in many locations around the North West of England and move the original Leeds Penny Bazaar to 20, Cheetham Hill Road, Manchester.
Marks and Spencer, known colloquially as "Marks and Sparks", or "M&S", made its reputation in the early 20th century with a policy of only selling British-made goods (it started to back down from this policy in the 1990s.) It entered into long-term relationships with British manufacturers, and sold clothes and food under the "St Michael" brand, which was introduced in 1928. The brand honours Michael Marks. It also accepted the return of unwanted items, giving a full cash refund if the receipt was shown, no matter how long ago the product was purchased, which was unusual for the time.
By 1950, virtually all goods were sold under the "St Michael" label. M&S lingerie, women's clothes and girls' school uniform were branded under the "St Margaret" label until the whole range of general merchandise became "St Michael". Simon Marks, son of Michael Marks, died in 1964, after fifty-six years' service. Israel Sieff, the son-in-law of Michael Marks, took over as chairman and in 1968, John Salisse became the company Director. A cautious international expansion began with the introduction of Asian food in 1974. M&S opened stores in continental Europe in 1975 and in Ireland four years later.
The company put its main emphasis on quality, including a 1957 stocking size measuring system. For most of its history, it also had a reputation for offering fair value for money. When this reputation began to waver, it encountered serious difficulties. Arguably, M&S has historically been an iconic retailer of 'British Quality Goods'.
The uncompromising attitude towards customer relations was summarised by the 1953 slogan: "The customer is always and completely right!"
Energy efficiency was improved by the addition of thermostatically controlled refrigerators in 1963.
M&S began selling Christmas cakes and Christmas puddings in 1958. In an effort to improve the quality of their Swiss rolls, they hired the food expert Nat Goldberg, who made a major improvement across their entire cake range, which had lost the public's favour a few years earlier. As a later measure to improve food quality, food labelling was improved and "sell by dates" were phased in between 1970 and 1972.
Smoking was banned from all M&S shops in 1959 because of the fire hazards it posed.
In 1972, Marcus Sieff became chairman, remaining in place until 1984, and emphasising the importance of good staff relations to the tradition of the store, while extending staff benefits to areas such as restaurants and chiropody.
M&S opened its first Asian store in Kabul, Afghanistan in 1960. The company expanded into Canada in 1973, and at one point had forty-seven stores across Canada. Despite various efforts to improve its image, the chain was never able to move beyond its reputation there as a stodgy retailer, one that catered primarily to senior citizens and expatriate Britons. The shops in Canada were smaller than British outlets, and did not carry the same selection. In the late 1990s, further efforts were made to modernise them and also expand the customer base. Unprofitable locations were closed. Nonetheless, the Canadian operations continued to lose money, and the last 38 shops in Canada were closed in 1999.
Expansion into France began with shops opening in Paris at Boulevard Haussmann and Lyon in 1975, followed by a second Paris shop at Rosny 2 in 1977. Further expansion into other French and Belgian cities followed into the 1980s. Although the Paris shops remained popular and profitable, the Western European operation as a whole did not fare as well and eighteen shops were sold in 2001. However, in April 2011, M&S changed directions again with an announcement to reopen a store that will not only sell clothing but food as well. In addition the group will also open several food outlets throughout the French capital. The first branch opened on 24 November 2011 at the Champs-Élysées in a ceremony attended by the company's CEO Marc Bolland, the model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and the British Ambassador to France, Sir Peter Westmacott.
M&S's profits peaked in the financial year 1997/1998. At the time it was seen as a continuing success story, but with hindsight it is considered that during Sir Richard Greenbury's tenure as head of the company, profit margins were pushed to untenable levels, and the loyalty of its customers was seriously eroded. The rising cost of using British suppliers was also a burden, as rival retailers increasingly imported their goods from low-cost countries, but M&S's belated switch to overseas suppliers undermined a core part of its appeal to the public. Another factor was the company's refusal until 2001 to accept any credit cards except its own chargecard.
These factors combined to plunge M&S into a sudden slump, which took the company, its shareholders, who included hundreds of thousands of small investors, and nearly all retail analysts and business journalists, by surprise. The company's share price fell by more than two thirds, and its profits fell from more than a billion pounds in 1997 and 1998 to £145 million in the year ended 31 March 2001.
In 2001, with changes in its business focus such as accepting credit cards, the introduction of the "Per Una" clothing range designed by George Davies, and a redesign of its underlying business model, profits recovered somewhat.
In 2004, M&S was in the throes of an attempted takeover by Arcadia Group and BHS boss, Philip Green. On 12 July a recovery plan was announced which would involve selling off its financial services business M&S Money to HSBC Bank plc, buying control of the Per Una range, closing the Gateshead Lifestore and stopping the expansion of its Simply Food line of shops. Philip Green withdrew his takeover bid after failing to get sufficient backing from shareholders.
In February 2007, M&S announced the opening of the world's largest M&S shop outside the UK at Dubai Festival City. On 2 October 2008, M&S opened its first mainland China shop in Shanghai. Problems with the supply chain for the first few months of opening led Stuart Rose, M&S chairman, to describe failures in "basic shopkeeping".
Twenty-two unprofitable and minor food stores, such as the ones at Ripon and Balham, were closed in early 2009 as part of a cost cutting measure. In August 2010, it was confirmed that the Grantham branch of M&S would close, along with two other Lincolnshire branches in Skegness and Scunthorpe due to low sales in these older format stores. The closures were met with protests from the local communities and petitions were signed in support of retaining the stores, although they went ahead.
The Retail Knowledge Bank conducted an audit of the company's brands in August 2010, and revealed that sales of womenswear were at a 10-year low. The audit covered both the Limited Collection, Autograph, Autograph Weekend, Classic Collection, Per Una, Portfolio and Indigo. Draper magazine claimed that Per Una was the only clothing brand not at risk of being axed while Marc Bolland considered which brands would be retained. Per Una was planned to stay due to its successful and distinctive flair, but Portfolio and Indigo were planned to go due to poor sales. The Limited Collection, Autograph, Autograph Weekend, and Classic Collection brands were considered for the cull during mid-2010, but were later given a reprieve.
On 9 November 2010, chief executive Marc Bolland revealed plans to strengthen the company's overall brand image and targeting sales of between £800m and £1bn for which company will increase capital expenditure to £850m to £900m over the next three years to fund the plans. The plan also involved the discontinuation of its 'Portfolio' fashion brand and the sale of electrical products. The company also announced a new marketing strapline, 'Only at M&S', and that it would revamp its website.
Bolland ordered a new store design in May 2011, and it was announced that the company would spend around £600 million between 2011 and 2014 on its UK stores, involving the launch of a range of different store formats based on the age, affluence and demographics of people in those areas. The design also included the trial of a new in-store "navigation scheme", which followed research showing that shoppers found M&S store layouts confusing and "difficult to shop [in]". It also confirmed that the amount of money-off promotions and deals offered would be increased, and that it would replace the Marks & Spencer label on clothing with "M&S Woman" and "M&S Man".
In May 2013 saw the launch of the Best of British range as well as the overhaul of Per Una and Indigo. Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne became the new marketing director, succeeding Steven Sharp in July. Mark Bolland also vowed to bring "quality and style back"  M&S also stated it intended to increase its number of UK suppliers from the 20 it had at the time.
In November 2013, it was revealed that Bill Adderley, founder of homeware chain Dunelm Group, had amassed a £250m stake in M&S over the past 18 months. This disclosure was made as stock market rules mean that any holding over 3 per cent share must be made public.
On 7 January 2016 it was announced that Marc Bolland, who has been CEO since 2010 would step down on 2 April 2016, and be replaced by Steve Rowe, head of clothing, and previously head of the food business.
Stores identified for closure in July 2015 included Woolwich, Walsall, Erdington, Aldershot (which was there since 1922), Pontypridd in Wales, Hounslow in west London, and Royal Quays in North Shields, the three full-line stores in Stevenage, Wood Green in north London, and The Fort shopping park in Castle Bromwich and the Simply Food in Castle Bromwich. The Lewisham store also lost a floor. The closures in 2015 also included three traditional food and clothing shops, one Simply Food store and four Outlet stores that sell end-of-season clothing. Some 430 workers were affected by the closures. The cull cost up to £200m to implement; the closure included loss-making stores in European markets such as France, Belgium and the Netherlands as well as outposts in China.
Several were smaller stores identified for closure in November 2017. On 31 January 2018, fourteen stores were identified for closure. Stores due for closure in April included one of their oldest presences, that in the town centre of Birkenhead. Other stores due for closure, in the same month, were those in Bournemouth, Durham, Fforestfach, Putney and Redditch. Meanwhile, eight other stores were earmarked for closure at a later date, pending consultation; those in Andover, Basildon, Bridlington, Falmouth, Fareham, Keighley, Stockport and an outlet store in Denton, Greater Manchester.
On 23 May 2018 M&S managers confirmed that 14 more shops were to be closed and another 86 were under investigation, and thus put on notice, due to falling corporate sales and customer footfall levels. This would take the total to over 100 closing by 2022,  as corporate profits plunge 62% amid sweeping store closure plans, which M&S thought were losing money. The company hoped it would help revive profits using the corporate website.
On 15 January 2019 the company named the next wave of 17 stores earmarked for closure. The 17 proposed closures are part of the company's five-year plan to shut more than 100 stores by 2022. The 17 stores which it proposes to close are: Ashford, Barrow, Bedford, Boston, Buxton, Cwmbran, Deal, Felixstowe, Huddersfield, Hull, Junction One Antrim Outlet, Luton Arndale, Newark, Northwich, Rotherham, Sutton Coldfield and Weston-super-Mare.
The headquarters of M&S had been since 1957 at Michael House, 55 Baker Street, London. This had formerly been the Baker Street Bazaar which had been destroyed in a fire in 1940. The site was redeveloped by M&S, under the direction of the then Sir Simon Marks, as the company had outgrown its previous Bayswater HQ. In 2004 the company moved to a new headquarters designed by mossessian & partners at Waterside House, in the new Paddington Basin, London.
As well as the main offices in London, there are a number of other head office sites across the UK; Stockley Park (IT Services), Salford Quays and Spinningfields, Greater Manchester (Marks & Spencer Shared Services Ltd. which provides human resources, and finance administration) and Chester (HSBC's M&S Money and Retail Customer Services).
The company has overseas sourcing offices in Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand, India, Bangladesh, Turkey, China, Italy, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.
Until 1999 M&S's financial year ended on 31 March. Since then, the company has changed to reporting for 52- or 53-week periods, ending on variable dates.
|Year ended||Turnover (£ M)||Profit before tax (£ M)||Net profit (£ M)||Basic eps (p)|
|31 March 2018||10,698.2||580.9||29.1||1.6|
|1 April 2017||10,622.0||613.8||115.7||7.2|
|2 April 2016||10,555.4||488.8||404.4||24.9|
|28 March 2015||10,311.4||600.0||481.7||29.7|
|29 March 2014||10,309.7||580.4||506.0||32.5|
|30 March 2013||10,026.8||564.3||458.0||29.2|
|31 March 2012||9,934.3||658.0||489.6||32.5|
|2 April 2011||9,740.3||780.6||598.6||38.8|
|3 April 2010||9,536.6||702.7||523.0||33.5|
|28 March 2009||9,062.1||706.2||506.8||32.3|
|29 March 2008||9,022.0||1,129.1||821.0||49.2|
|31 March 2007||8,588.1||936.7||659.9||39.1|
|1 April 2006||7,797.7||745.7||520.6||36.4|
|2 April 2005||7,490.5||505.1||355.0||29.1|
|3 April 2004||8,301.5||781.6||452.3||24.2|
|29 March 2003||8,019.1||677.5||480.5||20.7|
|30 March 2002||8,135.4||335.9||153.0||5.4|
|31 March 2001||8,075.7||145.5||2.8||0.0|
|1 April 2000||8,195.5||417.5||258.7||9.0|
|31 March 1999||8,224.0||546.1||372.1||13.0|
|31 March 1998||8,243.3||1,155.0||815.9||28.6|
|31 March 1997||7,841.9||1,129.1||746.6||26.7|
|31 March 1996||7,233.7||965.8||652.6||455.8|
In 2006, the Look Behind the Label marketing campaign was introduced. The aim of this campaign was to highlight to customers the various ethical and environmentally friendly aspects of the production and sourcing methods engaged in by M&S including: Fairtrade products, sustainable fishing and environmentally friendly textile dyes. All coffee and tea sold in M&S stores is now Fairtrade. In addition, the company offers clothing lines made from Fairtrade cotton in selected departments.
The plan covers "100 commitments over 5 years to address the key social and environmental challenges facing M&S today and in the future" with the tag-line "Because there is no Plan B". The commitments span five themes: climate change, waste, sustainable raw materials, 'fair partnership' and health, with the aim that, by 2012, it will:
Despite an 18% fall in the share price in January 2008, following publication of their latest trading statement, the company confirmed that they would be continuing with the plan, saying that there were 'compelling commercial — as well as moral — reasons to do so'.
M&S introduced a reusable hessian bag in 2007 as part of the plan, aiming to reduce the number of plastic bags used within five years. This was followed in May 2008 by the introduction of a 5p charge for standard sized carrier bags used for food purchases (before this charge became compulsory). All profits from the sale of food bags originally went to the charity Groundwork UK; M&S launched the "Forever Fish" campaign in June 2011 and switched funding to that campaign to promote protection of marine wildlife in the UK.
In becoming carbon neutral the company has committed to only use carbon offsetting as a last resort, restricted to cases "where it is required by government or where the technology for green air or road transport will not be available for the foreseeable future".
As of August 2008, M&S had three wind turbines in operation, one at Methlick and two near Strichen, generating enough power to supply three stores via the National Grid. In April 2009 the company began purchasing 2.6 TWh of renewable energy (wind and hydroelectric) from Npower, enough to power all Marks & Spencer stores and offices in England and Wales.
M&S has sold a wide range of charitable women's clothes for Breakthrough Breast Cancer for many years and the Ashbourne store collected a total of £2,000 for a local Derbyshire hospital's new ECG machine in 2010. In 2011 M&S launch Oxfam's clothes recycling initiative.
The following have served as the Chairman of the company since it was founded:
The largest shop is at Marble Arch, on Oxford Street in London, which has around 16,000 square metres (170,000 sq ft) of shop floor. The second largest is in Cheshire Oaks, Ellesmere Port, which is the largest outside London. The third largest shop is at the Gemini Retail Park in Warrington. In 1999 M&S opened its shop in Manchester's Exchange Square, which was destroyed in the 1996 Manchester bombing and rebuilt. At re-opening, it was the largest M&S shop with 23,000 m2 (250,000 sq ft) of retail space, but half was subsequently sold to Selfridges, the company's second site in Manchester. The smallest branch is an outlet located in the Grainger Market in Newcastle upon Tyne.
M&S has opened a number of stores at out of town locations since the trend to build shopping centres away from town centres became popular in the 1980s. The first was at the MetroCentre, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, which opened in 1986. Another notable example is the store at the Merry Hill Shopping Centre at Brierley Hill, West Midlands. This store opened on 23 October 1990 shortly after the closure of stores in the nearby town centres of Dudley and West Bromwich; the Merry Hill store was not originally intended to replace these two town centre stores, but both the Dudley and West Bromwich stores had experienced a downturn in trade as the opening of the Merry Hill store loomed, and both stores were closed on 25 August 1990.
The company's website has received criticism for having its prices in Pound sterling and not in euro, and for providing a search for its Irish stores through a "UK Store Finder". The Irish Times pointed out that M&S failed to explain why the company is in a position to deliver goods ordered from its website to Brazil, Argentina, Iraq and Afghanistan but not to Ireland. M&S did not comment.
The company reopened its store in Paris on 24 November 2011, following the launch of a new French website on 11 October 2011. In the Philippines there are 18 M&S shops, the largest of which is located in Greenbelt Mall. A new store opened on 17 April 2013 in Kalverstraat in Amsterdam, Netherlands, more than 10 years after closure of the previous store. On 17 September 2013 the British ambassador to the Netherlands, Sir Geoffrey Adams, opened the first Dutch Marks & Spencer Food pilot store at a BP petrol station in Bijleveld beside the A12 motorway. There are over 300 stores in some 40 overseas locations.
On 11 November 2013, Marks & Spencer announced "that it is set to have about 80 stores open in the region by 2016 as part of its strategy to become a leading international, multichannel retailer" with partner Reliance Retail. It opened a flagship store in Bandra in Mumbai. M&S sales of lingerie accounts for more than a fifth of the sales in the Indian market, with total lingerie sales increasing by a third during the last six months of 2013. In May 2014 Marks & Spencer announced that their intention was now to open 100 stores in the country by 2016.
In the Netherlands, as of 2015, M&S have a supermarket in the expensive Kalverstraat shopping street in Amsterdam, as well as a larger store including clothing in The Hague. A number of BP petrol stations in the Western area of the Netherlands include M&S convenience food stores. In 2016, M&S is due to open a much larger store in Amsterdam, with a direct underground link to a new metro station.
M&S core shops typically feature a selection of the company's clothing, homeware and beauty ranges and an M&S FOODHALL The range of clothing sold and the space given to it depends on the location and customer demographic (an example would be that some London shops do not stock the Classic Collection, but stock Limited Edition and a full Autograph range). All full line shops feature a Food hall. The current store format was designed by Urban Salon Architects in 2009.
All the St Michael Food hall supermarkets were renamed M&S Food hall when Marks & Spencer dropped the St Michael brand in 2000. Each M&S Foodhall sells groceries, which are all under the Marks & Spencer brand. However, in 2009 the company began selling a limited range of other brands, such as Coca-Cola and Stella Artois, without reducing the number of M&S goods they sold. This marked the first time in its 125-year history that Marks & Spencer had sold any brands other than its own.
Many large shops, such as Lisburn Sprucefield, Westfield, White City, Cribbs Causeway and Newcastle-upon-Tyne, also offer other hospitality outlets, such as a modern Deli Bar (champagne, canapés, seafood), Restaurant (table service—the first of which was opened in Newcastle) M&S Kitchen (traditional home cooking & lunches) or Hot Food To Go (burgers, chips, soups). Many of these outlets are run in conjunction with Compass Group under franchise arrangements.
In 2007, M&S announced that new, dedicated shops for home furnishings were to be launched. Shops have now been opened in Cheltenham in Gloucestershire, Tunbridge Wells in Kent, Lisburn Sprucefield in Northern Ireland and in the Barton Square section of The Trafford Centre, Manchester.
M&S have 30 outlet stores. The outlet division offers M&S products with the majority of them discounting at least 30% from the original selling price. The first of these stores opened at Ashford in Kent in 2000. Many of the Outlet shops are in locations such as retail parks and outlet centres, though some, including the shop in Woolwich, South London.
M&S launched a convenience format, branded Simply Food in 2001, with the first stores opening in Twickenham and Surbiton. The stores predominantly sell food, however some larger stores also stock a small selection of general merchandise.
A number of these are run under franchise agreements:
In 2011 it was noted that M&S were operating express pricing; i.e., charging more in their Simply Food branches than in regular branches. A spokesperson stated that "prices are a little higher than at our high street stores but this reflects the fact that these stores are open longer and are highly convenient for customers on the move".
The Simply Food brand has been phased out in all stand-alone larger stores since the rebrand in 2015 and the stores have now been branded as "M&S Foodhall."
In March 2019 M&S announced that they would open more supermarket sized food halls (between 10,000 and 15,000 sq ft.) that would stock their full food range in order to attract more families looking to do a weekly shop. M&S have also lowered the price of over 1000 of their popular lines to compete with their larger supermarket rivals such as Tesco and Sainsbury’s.
Products could be ordered online since the mid-2000s, in response to Tesco launching their pioneering Tesco.com home shopping delivery service in the early 2000s. Both Tesco, M&S and others are expanding rapidly into this new niche market. The online flower service was accused of unfair trading and using Google to piggy-back advertise on online searches aimed at Interflora online in 2010.
The "St Michael" brand was introduced by Simon Marks in 1928 in honour of his father and co-founder of Marks & Spencer, Michael Marks. By 1950, virtually all goods were sold under the St Michael brand. M&S lingerie, women's clothing and girls' uniform were branded under the St Margaret brand, until the whole range of general merchandise became St Michael. Marks & Spencer were selling clothes under the St Margaret and St Michael label by the mid-1950s and launched their school uniforms in the early 1950s.
The synthetic fibre Tricell was first used in 1957 and lasted until the 1970s. and another synthetic fibre called Courtelle was first launched, nationally, by Marks & Spencer during 1960 and also lasted well into the 1970s. Machine washable wool first appeared in 1972 and Lycra hosiery first came in during 1986.
"Per Una" was launched on 28 September 2001 as a joint venture between M&S and Next founder George Davies with the contribution of Julie Strang. The Per Una brand has been a major success for the company, and in October 2004, M&S bought the brand in a £125 million, two-year service contract with George Davies. Mr Davies was to stay on for at least two years to run the company, with 12 months notice required if he wished to leave.
In 2004, Sir Stuart Rose axed a number of brands including the menswear brand "SP Clothing", the "View From" sportswear range, the David Beckham children's range "DB07" and several food lines as he thought the company's stock inventory management had become 'too complicated'. A version of Per Una aimed at teenagers, "Per Una Due", was also discontinued, despite having launched earlier in the year, due to poor sales.
The company also began to sell branded goods like Kellogg's Corn Flakes in November 2008. Following a review by Marc Bolland in 2011, M&S confirmed it would begin to reduce the number of branded items on sale, instead offering only those that it did not have an M&S alternative for.
During the height of the company's troubles at the beginning of the 21st century, the St Michael brand used as the selling label for all M&S products was discontinued in favour of Marks & Spencer and a new logo in the Optima typeface was introduced and began to appear in place of St Michael on product packaging. The same logo was also applied to store fascias and carrier bags. The St Michael name was subsequently adopted as a 'quality guarantee' and appeared as the St Michael Quality Promise on the back of food products, on the side of delivery vehicles and on in-store ordering receipts.
When Steve Sharp joined as marketing director in 2004, after being hired by new Chief Executive Sir Stuart Rose, he introduced a new promotional brand under the Your M&S banner, with a corresponding logo.
M&S has always run newspaper and/or Magazine ads since the early 1950s, but the introduction of some famous stars such as Twiggy and David Jason in various TV ads has helped raise the company's profile. Twiggy first appeared in 1967, returning later in 1995 and 2005. Anne Grierson first featured in adverts during the late 1950s and most of the 1960s. In later years, Erin O'Connor, Myleene Klass, Tanja Nadjila, Peter Kay, David Beckham, Antonio Banderas, Claudia Schiffer, Helena Christensen, Tatjana Patitz, Lisa Snowdon, Dannii Minogue, V V Brown and Carmen Kass have also featured in a few ads, along with many others. John Sergeant, David Jason and Joanna Lumley have either appeared in or voiced over adverts since 2008.
The new look has been instrumental in the company's recent resurgence, particularly with the success of a new clothing campaign featuring the celebrated model, Twiggy, and younger models associated with the bohemian styles of 2005–6, and the new TV ad campaign for its food range. These adverts have the tag-line "This is not just food, this is M&S food" and feature slow motion, close-up footage of various food products, described in a sultry voice-over by Dervla Kirwan, to an enticing instrumental song — most notably Fleetwood Mac's "Albatross" as well as Santana's "Samba Pa Ti", Olly Murs' "Busy", Groove Armada's "At the River" or Spandau Ballet's "True". These adverts have been referred to by both fans and critics as being food porn, with a number of other companies copying the idea, such as Aldi and, most recently, Waitrose.
The 2009 TV advertising campaign drew complaints, leading to national press coverage, regarding sexism.
In 2010, it was confirmed that Dannii Minogue would be one of the new faces of Marks & Spencer. She filmed her first commercial in South Africa, which featured Cheryl Lynn's "Got to Be Real", for their Spring campaign that aired on 24 March. Dannii travelled to Miami, Florida in January 2011 to shoot the commercial for M&S for the 2011 Spring collection, prior to her contractual termination. In August 2011, M&S announced the new faces of their campaigns would be Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Ryan Reynolds and David Gandy.
Marks & Spencer dropped a series of planned television adverts in the July 2011, featuring Twiggy, Dannii Minogue and VV Brown as it started its corporate image revamp. It confirmed that Twiggy, Lisa Snowden and Jamie Redknapp would return for future advertising.
In October 2010, chairman Sir Stuart Rose was a signatory to a controversial letter to The Daily Telegraph which claimed that "The private sector should be more than capable of generating additional jobs to replace those lost in the public sector, and the redeployment of people to more productive activities will improve economic performance, so generating more employment opportunities", despite recent job cuts of 1,000 staff. This prompted calls for a boycott of Marks & Spencer and the companies represented by the other signatories to the letter.
Some Marks & Spencer customers claim that the chain's contactless payment terminals have taken money from cards other than the ones intended for payment. Contactless cards are supposed to be within about 4 cm of the front of the terminal to work. M&S investigated the incident and confirmed the new system had been extensively tested and was robust. It had recently rolled out the contactless payments system, provided by Visa Europe, to 644 UK stores.
In December 2013, Marks & Spencer announced that Muslim checkout staff in the UK could refuse to sell pork products or alcohol to customers at their till. The policy was announced after at least one news outlet reported that customers waiting with goods that included pork or alcohol were refused service, and were told by a Muslim checkout worker to wait until another till became available. The policy applied across all 703 UK M&S stores and prompted a strong backlash by customers.
A company spokesman subsequently apologised and stated that they will attempt to reassign staff whose beliefs may impact their work to different departments, such as clothing.
Marks & Spencer introduced a hijab in its section of school uniforms in late 2018 and subsequently faced backlash and boycott from customers; the product is stocked for girls as young as three.
In September 2018 Holly Willoughby became the company new brand ambassador along with her ‘Must Have’ collection which launched on 27 September 2018. Unfortunately the company failed to order sufficient stock and large quantities of customers were left disappointed.
An aircraft registration is a code unique to a single aircraft, required by international convention to be marked on the exterior of every civil aircraft. The registration indicates the aircraft's country of registration, and functions much like an automobile license plate. This code must also appear in its Certificate of Registration, issued by the relevant National Aviation Authority (NAA). An aircraft can only have one registration, in one jurisdiction, though it is changeable over the life of the aircraft.Deutsche Mark
The Deutsche Mark (German: [ˈdɔʏtʃə ˈmaɐ̯k] (listen), "German mark"), abbreviated "DM" or "D-Mark" , was the official currency of West Germany from 1948 until 1990 and later the unified Germany from 1990 until 2002. It was first issued under Allied occupation in 1948 to replace the Reichsmark, and served as the Federal Republic of Germany's official currency from its founding the following year until the adoption of the euro. In English it is commonly called the "Deutschmark" (); this expression is unknown in Germany. The Germans usually called it D-Mark when referring to the currency, and Mark when talking about individual sums.
In 1999, the Deutsche Mark was replaced by the Euro; its coins and banknotes remained in circulation, defined in terms of euros, until the introduction of euro notes and coins on 1 January 2002. The Deutsche Mark ceased to be legal tender immediately upon the introduction of the euro — in contrast to the other eurozone nations, where the euro and legacy currency circulated side by side for up to two months. Mark coins and banknotes continued to be accepted as valid forms of payment in Germany until 28 February 2002.
The Deutsche Bundesbank has guaranteed that all German marks in cash form may be changed into euros indefinitely, and one may do so in person at any branch of the Bundesbank in Germany. Banknotes and coins can even be sent to the Bundesbank by mail. In 2012, it was estimated that as many as 13.2 billion marks were in circulation, with one poll showing a narrow majority of Germans favouring the currency's restoration (although a minority believed this wouldn't bring any economic benefit).On 31 December 1998, the Council of the European Union fixed the irrevocable exchange rate, effective 1 January 1999, for German mark to euros as DM 1.95583 = €1.One Deutsche Mark was divided into 100 Pfennige.Diacritic
A diacritic – also diacritical mark, diacritical point, diacritical sign, or accent – is a glyph added to a letter, or basic glyph. The term derives from the Ancient Greek διακριτικός (diakritikós, "distinguishing"), from διακρίνω (diakrī́nō, "to distinguish"). Diacritic is primarily an adjective, though sometimes used as a noun, whereas diacritical is only ever an adjective. Some diacritical marks, such as the acute ( ´ ) and grave ( ` ), are often called accents. Diacritical marks may appear above or below a letter, or in some other position such as within the letter or between two letters.
The main use of diacritical marks in the Latin script is to change the sound-values of the letters to which they are added. Examples are the diaereses in the borrowed French words naïve and Noël, which show that the vowel with the diaeresis mark is pronounced separately from the preceding vowel; the acute and grave accents, which can indicate that a final vowel is to be pronounced, as in saké and poetic breathèd; and the cedilla under the "c" in the borrowed French word façade, which shows it is pronounced /s/ rather than /k/. In other Latin-script alphabets, they may distinguish between homonyms, such as the French là ("there") versus la ("the") that are both pronounced /la/. In Gaelic type, a dot over a consonant indicates lenition of the consonant in question.
In other alphabetic systems, diacritical marks may perform other functions. Vowel pointing systems, namely the Arabic harakat ( ـِ ,ـُ ,ـَ, etc.) and the Hebrew niqqud ( ַ◌, ֶ◌, ִ◌, ֹ◌, ֻ◌, etc.) systems, indicate vowels that are not conveyed by the basic alphabet. The Indic virama ( ् etc.) and the Arabic sukūn ( ـْـ ) mark the absence of vowels. Cantillation marks indicate prosody. Other uses include the Early Cyrillic titlo stroke ( ◌҃ ) and the Hebrew gershayim ( ״ ), which, respectively, mark abbreviations or acronyms, and Greek diacritical marks, which showed that letters of the alphabet were being used as numerals. In the Hanyu Pinyin official romanization system for Chinese, diacritics are used to mark the tones of the syllables in which the marked vowels occur.
In orthography and collation, a letter modified by a diacritic may be treated either as a new, distinct letter or as a letter–diacritic combination. This varies from language to language, and may vary from case to case within a language. English is the only major modern European language requiring no diacritics for native words (although a diaeresis may be used in words such as "coöperation").In some cases, letters are used as "in-line diacritics", with the same function as ancillary glyphs, in that they modify the sound of the letter preceding them, as in the case of the "h" in the English pronunciation of "sh" and "th".Ellipsis
An ellipsis (plural ellipses; from the Ancient Greek: ἔλλειψις, élleipsis, 'omission' or 'falling short') is a series of dots (typically three, such as "…") that usually indicates an intentional omission of a word, sentence, or whole section from a text without altering its original meaning.Opinions differ as to how to render ellipses in printed material. According to the Chicago Manual of Style, each dot should be separated from its neighbor by a non-breaking space. Such spaces should be omitted, however, according to the Associated Press. A third option, illustrated in the opening sentence of this article, is to use the precomposed Unicode character with code point U+2026, in which the gaps are not as wide as standard spaces.Exclamation mark
The exclamation mark, also sometimes referred to as the exclamation point in American English, is a punctuation mark usually used after an interjection or exclamation to indicate strong feelings or high volume (shouting), or to show emphasis, and often marks the end of a sentence, for example: "Watch out!" Similarly, a bare exclamation mark (with nothing before or after) is often used in warning signs.
Other uses include:
In mathematics it denotes the factorial operation.
Several computer languages use "!" at the beginning of an expression to denote logical negation: e.g. "!A" means "the logical negation of A", also called "not A".
Some languages use "!" to denote a click consonant.Four Marks of the Church
The Four Marks of the Church, also known as the Attributes of the Church, is a term describing four distinctive adjectives—"one, holy, catholic and apostolic"—of traditional Christian ecclesiology as expressed in the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed completed at the First Council of Constantinople in AD 381: "[We believe] in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church." This ecumenical creed is today recited in the liturgy of the Catholic Church (both Latin and Eastern Rites), the Eastern Orthodox Churches, the Oriental Orthodox Churches, the Church of the East, the Moravian Church, the Lutheran Churches, the Methodist Churches, the Presbyterian Churches, the Anglican Communion and by members of many Reformed Churches.While many doctrines, based on both tradition and different interpretations of the Bible, distinguish one denomination from another, largely explaining why there are so many different ones, the Four Marks, when defined the same way, represent a summary of what many clerical authorities have historically considered to be the most important affirmations of the Christian faith.Inverted question and exclamation marks
Inverted question marks (¿) and exclamation marks (Commonwealth English) or exclamation points (American English) (¡) are punctuation marks used to begin interrogative and exclamatory sentences (or clauses), respectively, in written Spanish and sometimes also in languages which have cultural ties with the Spanish, such as in the Galician and the Waray languages. They can also be combined in several ways to express the combination of a question and surprise or disbelief. The initial marks are normally mirrored at the end of the sentence or clause by the common marks (?, !) used in most other languages. Unlike the ending marks, which are printed along the baseline of a sentence, the inverted marks (¿ and ¡) descend below the line.
Inverted marks were originally recommended by the Real Academia Española (Royal Spanish Academy) in 1754, and adopted gradually over the next century.On computers, inverted marks are supported by various standards, including ISO-8859-1, Unicode, and HTML. They can be entered directly on keyboards designed for Spanish-speaking countries, or via alternative methods on other keyboards.Karl Marx
Karl Marx (German: [ˈkaɐ̯l ˈmaɐ̯ks]; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher, economist, historian, sociologist, political theorist, journalist and socialist revolutionary.
Born in Trier, Germany, Marx studied law and philosophy at university. He married Jenny von Westphalen in 1843. Due to his political publications, Marx became stateless and lived in exile with his wife and children in London for decades, where he continued to develop his thought in collaboration with German thinker Friedrich Engels and publish his writings, researching in the reading room of the British Museum. His best-known titles are the 1848 pamphlet, The Communist Manifesto, and the three-volume Das Kapital. His political and philosophical thought had enormous influence on subsequent intellectual, economic and political history and his name has been used as an adjective, a noun and a school of social theory.
Marx's theories about society, economics and politics – collectively understood as Marxism – hold that human societies develop through class struggle. In capitalism, this manifests itself in the conflict between the ruling classes (known as the bourgeoisie) that control the means of production and the working classes (known as the proletariat) that enable these means by selling their labour power in return for wages. Employing a critical approach known as historical materialism, Marx predicted that, like previous socio-economic systems, capitalism produced internal tensions which would lead to its self-destruction and replacement by a new system: socialism. For Marx, class antagonisms under capitalism, owing in part to its instability and crisis-prone nature, would eventuate the working class' development of class consciousness, leading to their conquest of political power and eventually the establishment of a classless, communist society constituted by a free association of producers. Marx actively pressed for its implementation, arguing that the working class should carry out organised revolutionary action to topple capitalism and bring about socio-economic emancipation.Marx has been described as one of the most influential figures in human history, and his work has been both lauded and criticised. His work in economics laid the basis for much of the current understanding of labour and its relation to capital, and subsequent economic thought. Many intellectuals, labour unions, artists and political parties worldwide have been influenced by Marx's work, with many modifying or adapting his ideas. Marx is typically cited as one of the principal architects of modern social science.List of musical symbols
Musical symbols are marks and symbols used since about the 13th century in musical notation of musical scores. They notate pitch, tempo, metre, duration and articulation of a note or a passage of music.Navigational aid
A navigational aid (also known as aid to navigation, ATON, or navaid) is any sort of marker which aids the traveler in navigation, usually nautical or aviation travel. Common types of such aids include lighthouses, buoys, fog signals, and day beacons.Punctuation
Punctuation (formerly sometimes called pointing) is the use of spacing, conventional signs and certain typographical devices as aids to the understanding and correct reading of written text whether read silently or aloud. Another description is, "It is the practice action or system of inserting points or other small marks into texts in order to aid interpretation; division of text into sentences, clauses, etc., by means of such marks."In written English, punctuation is vital to disambiguate the meaning of sentences. For example: "woman, without her man, is nothing" (emphasizing the importance of men to women), and "woman: without her, man is nothing" (emphasizing the importance of women to men) have very different meanings; as do "eats shoots and leaves" (which means the subject consumes plant growths) and "eats, shoots, and leaves" (which means the subject eats first, then fires a weapon, and then leaves the scene). The sharp differences in meaning are produced by the simple differences in punctuation within the example pairs, especially the latter.
The rules of punctuation vary with language, location, register and time and are constantly evolving. Certain aspects of punctuation are stylistic and are thus the author's (or editor's) choice, or tachygraphic (shorthand) language forms, such as those used in online chat and text messages.Question mark
The question mark [ ? ] (also known as interrogation point, query, or eroteme in journalism) is a punctuation mark that indicates an interrogative clause or phrase in many languages. The question mark is not used for indirect questions. The question mark glyph is also often used in place of missing or unknown data. In Unicode, it is encoded at U+003F ? QUESTION MARK (HTML ?).Quotation mark
Quotation marks, also known as quotes, quote marks, quotemarks, speech marks, inverted commas, or talking marks, are punctuation marks used in pairs in various writing systems to set off direct speech, a quotation, or a phrase. The pair consists of an opening quotation mark and a closing quotation mark, which may or may not be the same character.Quotation marks have a variety of forms in different languages and in different media.Reporting mark
A reporting mark is an alphabetic code of two to four letters used to identify owners or lessees of rolling stock and other equipment used on certain railroad networks.
In North America the mark, which consists of an alphabetic code of two to four letters, is stenciled on each piece of equipment, along with a one- to six-digit number. This information is used to uniquely identify every such rail car or locomotive, thus allowing it to be tracked by the railroad they are traveling over, which shares the information with other railroads and customers.Scare quotes
Scare quotes (also called shudder quotes, sneer quotes, and quibble marks) are quotation marks that a writer places around a word or phrase to signal that they are using it in a non-standard, ironic, or otherwise special sense. Scare quotes may indicate that the author is using someone else's term, similar to preceding a phrase with the expression "so-called"; they may imply skepticism or disagreement, belief that the words are misused, or that the writer intends a meaning opposite to the words enclosed in quotes.Specials (Unicode block)
Specials is a short Unicode block allocated at the very end of the Basic Multilingual Plane, at U+FFF0–FFFF. Of these 16 code points, five are assigned as of Unicode 12.0:
U+FFF9 INTERLINEAR ANNOTATION ANCHOR, marks start of annotated text
U+FFFA INTERLINEAR ANNOTATION SEPARATOR, marks start of annotating character(s)
U+FFFB INTERLINEAR ANNOTATION TERMINATOR, marks end of annotation block
U+FFFC ￼ OBJECT REPLACEMENT CHARACTER, placeholder in the text for another unspecified object, for example in a compound document.
U+FFFD � REPLACEMENT CHARACTER used to replace an unknown, unrecognized or unrepresentable character
In musical terminology, tempo ("time" in Italian) is the speed or pace of a given piece. In classical music, tempo is typically indicated with an instruction at the start of a piece (often using conventional Italian terms) and is usually measured in beats per minute (or bpm). In modern classical compositions, a "metronome mark" in beats per minute may supplement or replace the normal tempo marking, while in modern genres like electronic dance music, tempo will typically simply be stated in bpm.
Tempo may be separated from articulation and meter, or these aspects may be indicated along with tempo, all contributing to the overall texture. While the ability to hold a steady tempo is a vital skill for a musical performer, tempo is changeable. Depending on the genre of a piece of music and the performers' interpretation, a piece may be played with slight tempo rubato or drastic accelerando. In ensembles, the tempo is often indicated by a conductor or by one of the instrumentalists, for instance the drummer.Three marks of existence
In Buddhism, the three marks of existence are three characteristics (Pali: tilakkhaṇa; Sanskrit: त्रिलक्षण, trilakṣaṇa) of all existence and beings, namely impermanence (aniccā), unsatisfactoriness or suffering (dukkha), and non-self (anattā). These three characteristics are mentioned in verses 277, 278 and 279 of the Dhammapada. That humans are subject to delusion about the three marks, that this delusion results in suffering, and that removal of that delusion results in the end of suffering, is a central theme in the Buddhist Four Noble Truths and Noble Eightfold Path.
According to Thich Nhat Hanh, the three seals are impermanence, non-self and nirvana. He says in "The heart of the Buddha's Teaching" that "In several sutras the Buddha taught that nirvana, the joy of completely extinguishing our ideas and concepts, rather than suffering, is one of the Three Dharma Seals."Trademark
A trademark, trade mark, or trade-mark is a recognizable sign, design, or expression which identifies products or services of a particular source from those of others, although trademarks used to identify services are usually called service marks. The trademark owner can be an individual, business organization, or any legal entity. A trademark may be located on a package, a label, a voucher, or on the product itself. For the sake of corporate identity, trademarks are often displayed on company buildings. It is legally recognized as a type of intellectual property.
The first legislative act concerning trademarks was passed in 1266 under the reign of Henry III, requiring all bakers to use a distinctive mark for the bread they sold. The first modern trademark laws emerged in the late 19th century. In France the first comprehensive trademark system in the world was passed into law in 1857. The Trade Marks Act 1938 of the United Kingdom changed the system, permitting registration based on "intent-to-use”, creating an examination based process, and creating an application publication system. The 1938 Act, which served as a model for similar legislation elsewhere, contained other novel concepts such as "associated trademarks", a consent to use system, a defensive mark system, and non claiming right system.
The symbols ™ (the trademark symbol) and ® (the registered trademark symbol) can be used to indicate trademarks; the latter is only for use by the owner of a trademark that has been registered.
Supermarkets in Hong Kong
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