British retailer Marks & Spencer has announced a strategic partnership with British utility Octopus Energy which aims to transform its M&S Energy brand.
The retail group wants to provide an alternative to what it calls 'an outdated model' used by other energy suppliers, and offer a fairer price to consumers. The British group originally launched M&S Energy in 2008, working with the Scottish-based utility SSE. While it will cease its collaboration with SSE, customers will see no interruption to supply.
According to Jonathan Hazeldine, head of M&S Energy, this an integral part of the company's plan to transform itself in the years to come.
“As we continue to transform M&S we have chosen Octopus as a new strategic partner for M&S Energy. Octopus’ values of responsible and transparent pricing and digital-first customer service mirror our ambitions for the business," he said.
Octopus Energy launched to the public in April 2016 and more than 200,000 households have signed up in the last couple of years.
Greg Jackson, the CEO of Octopus Energy commented, “I’m thrilled. M&S’s choice of Octopus for this vital service is a great vote of confidence in our vision for energy. Fair pricing without annual switching, renewable electricity and incredible customer service.
"M&S will be using the digital technology we’ve built, enabling dramatically better customer experience online, and helping drive the M&S digitisation strategy.” He later added on Twitter that it was an "absolute privilege" to work with the retailer.
It's an absolute privilege to work with a company which led the way on sustainability. https://t.co/bnlXZ9qwhz
— Greg Jackson (@g__j) July 18, 2018
"Not a quick fix"
Looking for ways to reinvent itself after a decade of failed transformations, M&S has announced a number of key partnerships in recent months. The retail group aims to have a "a profitable growing business in five years' time," as chairman Archie Norman said during the latest AGM, cautioning that it "wasn't a quick fix".
The company has reported two straight years of profit decline, recording a drop of 62% in pre-tax profit for full-year 2017/18.
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Matthieu Chassain. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine