High street stalwart Marks and Spencer (M&S) is set to launch localised customer websites in four new European markets, it has been announced today.
Part of its ongoing strategy to become a leading international multichannel retailer, the move will see M&S gain an online presence and offer products across menswear, womenswear, lingerie and homewares in Germany, Spain, Austria and Belgium.
In May, M&S reported disappointing clothing sales which led to a one per cent fall in underlying profit before tax and the retailer launched a number of redesigned pilot stores to address the problem, as well as outlining a multichannel expansion programme.
Speaking at the time, M&S CEO Marc Bolland outlined a plan to transact from 10 websites worldwide while also opening approximately 100 international stores annually and the retailer believes the latest move marks “significant progress”.
Available in the preferred local language, the sites will trade in Euros and offer payment and delivery options as M&S products are already purchased by online shoppers using international delivery services as the UK website delivers to over 80 countries.
Bolland said of the launch: “This is us moving forward with our plan to transform M&S from traditional British retailer to a leading international, multi-channel retailer.
“M&S is a brand that’s synonymous with British quality, style and value and this move enables us to extend the reach of our brand to more new markets.”
Launching on Monday November 19th 2012, the site follows the successful launch of websites in France and Ireland and aims to grow the business and improve its customer engagement in these markets.
Laura Wade-Gery, Executive Director of E-commerce Multichannel at M&S commented: “Entering these countries with online capabilities allows us to serve customers right across some of the biggest and fastest growing online fashion markets in Europe.
“Since 2008 we’ve been in dialogue with the customers who already use our international delivery service and we’ve learnt much from them.
“With our new sites we can provide customers with what they want – a fully localised service that enables them to shop with M&S in the way they want to.”