SSP partners Marks & Spencer's return to France

SSP News Release 1-April-2011

Marks & Spencer today announces that it will return to France towards the end of this year with a combined e-commerce and retail ‘bricks & clicks' strategy in line with its business plans announced in November.

The move will see Marks & Spencer launch a new retail website, in French and trading in Euros, providing opportunities to serve customers throughout France. The company will also open a new store in the heart of Paris on the Champs-Elysées towards the end of this year offering a selection of both womenswear and food.

Marks & Spencer is also in advanced talks with SSP, an established UK franchise partner, regarding opening a number of Marks & Spencer Simply Food stores at strategic locations in and around Paris and is now looking for suitable sites. Commenting on the news, Andrew Lynch, SSP’s Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted to be continuing our excellent relationship with M&S as they re-enter the French market.  It is a region we know well, and our market-leading position in operating food and beverage brands in France’s railway stations means that we are extremely well placed to support M&S’ exciting plans for growth.  This is yet another resounding endorsement for SSP’s ability to partner some of the biggest brands in the world and help them enter and thrive in the global travel sector.”

SSP and M&S have been working together for the last ten years to provide M&S food in transport hubs across the UK. There are now 45 M&S Simply Food stores operated by SSP in UK railway stations and airports, as well as five stores located in UK hospitals.

Speaking from Paris, Marc Bolland, Marks & Spencer's Chief Executive, said:

“Marks & Spencer has great brand awareness here in France and a place in customers' hearts. We're very excited to be returning with an e-commerce and retail offer to delight customers with our full range of clothing and home products, and the exceptional food from our Paris store.”  

Both the new French website and Parisian store are scheduled to launch prior to this year's peak Christmas trading period to capitalise on the strong consumer awareness of the Marks & Spencer brand1.

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