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Marks & Spencer Unveils New IT Programme As Part Of Cost-Cutting Plans

Published on Jan 10 2018 12:00 PM in Technology tagged: M&S / Marks & Spencer / IT Services

Marks & Spencer Unveils New IT Programme As Part Of Cost-Cutting Plans

UK retail group Marks & Spencer has launched a new £25 million technology transformation programme, with the aim of becoming a 'digital-first' business.

The clothing, food and home retailer, which has just begun a five-year turnaround plan, says that the new programme will cut its annual IT bill by around £30 million by 2021-22.

Steve Rowe, the company's chief executive, said that its newly-created technology operating model, effective 1 March, will make its business “faster, simpler and more focused on achieving a seamless customer experience.”

M&S has also appointed Tata Consultancy Services as its principal technology partner, which will manage specialist suppliers and services.

Around 250 M&S technology roles will transfer to the new IT services company, while the retailer says that it is having "individual conversations" with around 30 staff members whose functions will be carried out differently in future.

“We are committed to transforming M&S for our colleagues, customers and shareholders by delivering digital-first retailing across our stores and offices," said Rowe.

"Technology plays a huge role in this transformation – and having the right partners and model will enable us to be more agile, flexible and responsive."

Cost-Cutting Moves

M&S launched its five-year transformation plan in November.

In spite of good progress made in the last year, the retailer outlined plans to slow its Simply Food store openings in the future, noting that only the highest returning sites will qualify for addition to its store portfolio.

Instead, the retailer is planning to build on its progress made in the clothing and home unit.

Another part of the plan was the sale of its retail business in Hong Kong and Macau. M&S confirmed the closure of this deal last week, after selling 27 stores to Al-Futtaim.

The retailer says that it aims to place greater focus on established joint-venture partnerships and operate within fewer wholly owned markets.

Earlier today M&S announced the appointment of its new chief finance officer, Humphrey Singer, and the group is set to report on its Christmas trading period tomorrow.

© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Sarah Harford. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.

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