Marks & Spencer (M&S) today announces a new franchise partnership with Relay France, part of Lagardere Services group, to operate Marks & Spencer Food stores at popular travel locations in France.
The first French Marks & Spencer Food store in travel retail will open in summer 2014. With a commercial area of 800 square metres, this store will be located in the commercial mall of La Défense RATP RER station. The new partnership will see M&S and Relay open 10 Marks & Spencer Food stores at key railway stations, metro stations and airports in and around Paris by 2018, with the potential for further expansion into additional travel locations in the future.
The new partnership is part of M&S’s ‘clicks & bricks’ strategy for France across e-commerce and stores. This commenced in November 2011, with the launch of its French website, www.marksandspencer.fr , and the opening of its flagship store M&S Champs-Elysées. Since then M&S has continued to build its presence in the French market and now has two full-line stores at So Ouest and Aeroville . It will open a new 4,500 square metre anchor store at Beaugrenelle will open on 23 October and a 3,500 square metre store will open at Villeneuve La Garenne in spring 2014.
The new stores will offer customers convenient access to a range of up to 2,500 exceptional quality, fresh M&S food products including: ready meals, fresh produce, sandwiches, groceries and bakery items. M&S food is already proving popular with its French customers, with best sellers including Indian prepared meals, BLT sandwiches, crumpets, muffins and Earl Grey tea. Offering its standalone food stores at convenient travel locations will help M&S continue to grow its business in France and take its customer engagement to another level.
Jan Heere, International Director at Marks & Spencer, said: “Our new partnership is an important move forward in our ‘clicks and bricks’ strategy for France. M&S food is synonymous for its outstanding quality and freshness and this move enables us to extend our popular food offer to French customers at convenient travel locations across Paris.
“With a leading presence at key travel locations across the capital, Relay France is the ideal partner for us to open our first standalone food stores in France.”
Michel Pérol, Managing Director at Relay, said: “We are particularly pleased to initiate such a partnership in the transportation areas where we operate. The originality and exceptional quality of the food and convenience offer from our partner Marks & Spencer fully meets the modern traveler’s expectations. This development will be a resounding success since it provides a new dimension for travel retail. With this magnificent brand, Relay France enriches its commercial offer in the transportation areas in which it is a major player.”
The new agreement is part of M&S’s international strategy to open franchise Marks & Spencer Food stores in Western Europe. This autumn M&S opened its first four Marks & Spencer Food pilots at BP retail sites in the Netherlands, with a further two pilots to roll out by November 2013.
M&S has over 250 M&S Simply Food franchise stores in convenient locations at railway stations, motorway services, BP forecourts, airports and hospitals in the UK.
Tomorrow M&S will open a new anchor store at Beaugrenelle.
Notes to Editors
About Marks & Spencer
• Marks & Spencer is one of the UK's leading retailers. M&S sells high quality, great value clothing and home products as well as outstanding quality food. 20 million customers visit its stores each week and M&S has over 82,000 employees across the globe.
• M&S was founded over 129 years ago and currently has over 770 UK stores and over 430 international stores across 53 territories in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
• For more information please visit http://corporate.marksandspencer.com
Operating more than 850 points of sales in national railway stations, airports, metro stations and hospitals, Relay France, a subsidiary of Lagardère Services, is a major player in national travel retail. The preferred partner of press and book publishers, Relay France is also developing an important network of convenience and fast food points of sale for travelers.