Looking good this Easter
Gorgeous kidswear for any occasion
Meet the experts
A Horticulture Hero from Bromley store meets our daffodil farmer
Top of the Shwops
Winners of our One Day Wardrobe Clearout visit Oxfamâ€™s clothes recycling plant
A look at our fastest-growing international territory â€“ India
Keeping you in touch March /April 2014
Inside HOT CROSS BUNS IN STATS
4 Your pledges
We’re making it easier for you to make a difference
5 In Touch
Customers say thank you
6 Our new website is live
What customers and the press have been saying so far
7 Three cheers
Employees thank each other
An in-depth look at India
We couldn’t have created this issue of YOUR M&S without these colleagues
Our main hot cross bun supplier, Gunstones, was established more than 150 years ago
During our busiest Easter week, we will sell enough hot cross buns to scale Mount Everest 14 times
In total, we will sell enough hot cross buns (if each pack were placed end to end) to reach from the UK to Greece. That’s a whopping 1,175 miles
From cute kidswear to divine Easter eggs, we show you how to throw the perfect Easter party
22 21 Tiny Taste Buds
Our new baby food range
22 Waste not, want not
Winners of the One Day Wardrobe Clear-out are shown around Oxfam’s clothes recycling factory
16 We go even greener
How eco-features fitted into four existing stores are helping us save more energy
24 Meet the Experts
A Horticulture Hero meets our daffodil farmer
18 Shaping up
In total we will use 1,128,400kg of flour during the season
We reveal the secrets of our most innovative Shapewear and launch an exciting competition
‘The new energy saving features in four of our Simply Food Stores are fantastic, as are the green walls, which are creating a buzz among our customers.’ ROSELINE HOLT, PROPERTY PLAN A PROJECT MANAGER
26 Your letters
‘This year we are aiming to sell more hot cross buns than ever before, so it’s great to see our delicious products featured in the Easter cover feature.’ LEWIS JACKSON, BAKERY EXPERT
Spotlighting your ideas, plus puzzles and prizes
‘It was great fun helping to pick the boyswear outfits for the Easter cover feature – our models Josh and Ted look so cute!’ NATALIE CARROLL, BOYSWEAR BUYER
SAY CHEESE! There were smiles all round during our Easter shoot, turn to page 10 to find out more
24 Go online now! Look out for the digital version of YOUR M&S. It has all of the fantastic stories from your regular magazine, plus some extra articles for you to read, enjoy and share with your colleagues. See Today@M&S or My Store Workspace for details
If you have an idea for a great news story, please ask your BIG rep to send it to us. Clare Goulty, Editor – extn 183283 Email: Employee.firstname.lastname@example.org Post: Employee Communications, Marks & Spencer, Waterside House, UG East, 35 North Wharf Road, London W2 1NW
This issue, we’ve gone hopping mad for Easter, which is a huge calendar event for M&S, and in our cover feature we showcase some gorgeous kidswear and of course lots of delicious Easter eggs! We also venture to Cornwall to meet the team who are responsible for growing our beautiful daffodils. A lot of hard work goes into each and every bunch. Meanwhile, some of our employees visited Oxfam’s clothes recycling factory to see what happens to all the clothes that are Shwopped by you and our customers. We are sure you’ll find it to be a truly inspiring feature. Happy Easter, everyone!
CLARE GOULTY EDITOR, YOUR M&S
Cover photography: Ian Boddy Hair and make-up: Collette Ruddy Styling: Jo McGuinness Other images: David Cotter, Mischa Haller, Jamie Lau, Ben Mostyn, Shutterstock
This magazine is printed on 50% recycled paper. Please do the right thing by passing it on to someone else or recycling it after you have read it.
Story to tell? Email Employee.Comms@marks-and-spencer.com
Close-up BU S I N E S S
As you know, our new website, M&S.com, is open for business. It’s a big moment in the history of M&S and it’s been a fantastic team effort of which we should all feel proud. Thousands of you have worked incredibly hard to make it a reality, and whether you work in stores, offices, or distribution – all of us will benefit from the new flagship. The new site isn’t just brighter, bolder and better, it’s also more in touch with how customers shop. M&S.com isn’t only designed to make it easier for customers to find what they want and make purchases online, it’s also designed for browsing; providing them with ideas and inspiration, meaning they are more likely to shop in our stores afterwards. Both customers and the press are already telling us how much they like our new M&S.com. This is just the beginning as we will be using it to showcase our style credentials in the coming months. We also need to use it to help with cross-selling, product knowledge and giving customers an extra-special experience of M&S. So please use it every day so that you are in touch with what our customers are reading and browsing. This is a big step on our journey to becoming an international multichannel retailer, as we put the best of M&S in all our stores, as well as at the fingertips of our 20 million customers. It’s a great opportunity to write an exciting new chapter for M&S – let’s make sure we take it.
Marc Bolland, CEO
&S has always led the way when it comes to supporting communities and charities, and our customers and employees told us that local causes are more important to them than ever before. So this year, we are bringing all of our existing community work under one banner, called Intouch With Your Local Community. This will enable each and every one of you to help the causes that you care about; help others fulfil their potential (with initiatives such as Marks & Start and Make Your Mark) and protect your local environment. This will also mean we’ll see the difference that we make more clearly, and make it easier for employees to share the story with customers. As you will already know, stores have already chosen their own charity of the year and made their community pledge. We will also be working with our Plan A Champions
Volunteers at the Southsea Big Beach and Waterway Clean-up
DID YOU KNOW? £11 MILLION
In 2012-13 we made charitable donations of £11 million to support the community
We donated £1.2 million of employee time to volunteering
We helped raise a further £8.2 million through our employees and customers
and Regional Plan A Champions to ensure that we make the most of their expertise. Our aim is to become the biggest community supporter on the high street and with your help and hard work, we are certain that we can achieve this. March / April 2014
05 YOUR M&S
The extra mile
KEY EVENTS 2014 We will also continue to work with a number of national charities to support causes that you and our customers care about. Key events to look out for this year
Every day, we receive emails and letters that demonstrate how M&S employees are In Touch with our customers. Here’s a selection of the stories we loved…
Big Beach and Waterway Clean-up
A customer wrote to Bournemouth Store to praise Foods Customer Assistant Stuart Beaney for his kind, positive and polite nature. She went on to explain how personable and cheerful Stuart is, and that he goes the extra mile to chat to customers, particularly elderly ones, and help them pack their shopping. Star service Fort Kinnaird store recently received an email from a customer praising Anne Taylor (left) and Kim Bennet, who work in Lingerie. The customer wrote, ‘I wanted to write to let you know about
Macmillan’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning
One Day Wardrobe Clear-out
the excellent service and help I received from two of your members of staff. I was there with my 12-year-old daughter for her first bra fitting. Unfortunately she has quadriplegic cerebral palsy and is also registered blind, non-verbal and wheelchair-bound so I was not expecting it to be an easy experience. However, the two ladies who were there not only managed to fit us in between their booked-in appointments but were both also extremely accommodating, kind and gentle, explaining to her what they were doing and making sure she was comfortable.’
W E D D I N G F L OW E R S
Our budding new wedding line Don’t forget to tell customers about our gorgeous hand-crafted bouquets and arrangements from the new wedding collection at M&S. Available exclusively online, there are three stunning collections in two colourways to choose from, including the simple and elegant White Wedding Calla Lily Collection and the classic Pink and White Wedding Luxury Rose Collection (pictured, left). A collection of bridal bouquets and two bridesmaids bunches starts at just £125, or you can opt for a full collection (from £250), which includes a bridal bouquet, two bridesmaids bouquets, four buttonholes, The average bride spends two table arrangements and a vase arrangement. You £560 on wedding flowers, so can then add as many extra pieces as you require for by buying them at M&S, the perfect finishing touches to your special day. customers can make a saving of at least £240
Did you know?
March / April 2014
Close-up AC C E S S O R I E S
THE SHORTER, THE BETTER WE ARE NOW SELLING SHORT BOOTS ALL YEAR ROUND. WE LOVE THESE LOW CHELSEA INDIGO BOOTS IN SAND (£49.50, T02/5614A). PAIR THEM WITH ROLLED-UP JEANS AND AN OVERSIZED JUMPER.
Wear your Something new support Once again we have teamed up with Fashion Targets Breast Cancer to ask you and your customers to help raise money for a very worthy cause. Since we first began working with Breakthrough Breast Cancer, we have raised more than £19 million, all of which will help with the prevention and treatment of breast cancer. Remember to tell customers that 100% of the lip balm sales and 30% of all other products go straight to the charity.
We are now selling wedding jewellery, the perfect finishing touch for your big day. ‘I’m getting married in August and this M&S Collection daisy chain set would really complement my simple vintage dress,’ Brand and Marketing Manager Sophie Morgan (pictured right) told us.
Earrings, T06/0153M, £17.50
Bracelet, T06/0453M, £35
M & S .C O M
Our new flagship M&S.com officially launched in February. The new site is quicker and easier to use with improved navigation, faster checkout and includes stronger product images as well as daily style and living features and ideas for outfit building. Here’s what some of our customers think of the new site.
Bikini top, T91/4201b £17.50; Hipster, T91/4202P £14
Necklace, T06/0353M, £35
‘It’s more fashionorientated, more visually interesting and very aspirational. I have no complaints, only praise!’ CUSTOMER VIA FACEBOOK
T-shirt, T91/4207 £15
Bracelet, T06/8365 £7.50
Skirt, T91/4212 £22.50
Our new flagship M&S.com opened to the public in February – signalling a major step forward in our plans to transform M&S. The new site is not only quicker and easier to use, it’s also much more in touch with the way customers shop, designed to give them style ideas and inspiration. It’s early days but it’s been wellreceived by employees, press and customers alike. Here’s what they’ve been saying… ‘The new platform looks slick and stylish. I love the daily “Editor’s Pick”, which provides great knowledge around
our new products and innovations. Staff and customers alike are excited about the enhanced level of service we will be able to provide.’ Rachel Morrison, Manager, Dundee Store ‘The new website looks and feels like we are in the fashion business.’ Aaron Spice, Manager, Braehead ‘M&S’s website is many things: a repository of 12,000 fashion-related items among them… Cleaner lay-out and improved pictures make it more enticing... If I were an X Factor judge, I’d say the results were 110 per cent better.’ Lisa Armstrong, The Telegraph March / April 2014
AC C E S S O R I E S
Turning heads Statement necklaces are set to be huge again this year. Rhona, a Customer Assistant from Marble Arch store, visited our Paddington office to get a sneak preview. ‘Some people can be intimidated by statement necklaces and are unsure about how to wear them. But these selections offer something for everyone, from low-key necklaces like this one from M&S Collection (below, right) to bolder ones, like this Per Una number (below, left). My personal favourite is this Limited Edition necklace (below, middle) – the bigger the better, I say!’
T06/6817D, £15 T06/3130N, £19.50 T06/6891L, £25
S E RV IC E
Your opportunity to thank your colleagues for their support, dedication, efficiency and humour – or simply for being themselves Customer Assistant Moira Cairney (right) from Stirling store was diagnosed with breast cancer in June last year and had to undergo surgery, intensive chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Despite this, Moira has continued to work and always does so with a smile on her face. She is an inspiration to us all. Nominated by STIRLING BIG Jan Kemal, a Customer Assistant from Camberley store, was nominated for her excellent cross-selling skills. Last year, she helped a customer who was entertaining a young lady whom he wished to impress. She showed him our roses, bottles
of bubbly and extras for the table. Several months, later, the gentleman informed Jan that he had proposed to the lady in question and that they are now engaged! Nominated by CAMBERLEY BIG Customer Assistant Toby Lascelles (bottom left) is a real hero of the Food Hall at Eden High Wycombe store. In a sixweek period he was mentioned nine times in customer satisfaction surveys, always with comments on how friendly, knowledgeable and courteous he is. Customers are lining up just to experience his fantastic service! Nominated by EDEN HIGH WYCOMBE BIG
Up for the challenge Employees from Retail and Learning Development raised money for homeless charity Shelter by running four of the charity’s London stores for a day. In total, the four teams helped the stores to take an additional £829 compared to the previous day’s sales. In addition to increasing the takings, the teams improved the appearance and layout of the shops, as well as suggesting better back stage processes. Shelter was delighted with the results and said that the improvements would leave a lasting legacy. March / April 2014
THE GIFT OF GIVING Dundrum store participated in the Barnardos Christmas appeal and once again it proved to be hugely successful. Some employees ran a craft fair and used the proceeds to buy £1,600-worth of M&S toys and clothes. Many employees made donations of new toys, sweets and clothes in the few weeks before Christmas, while others had been purchasing sale items throughout the year to donate. Employees filled a van with the proceeds and hopefully made a huge impact to this very needy and worthwhile cause.
FULL OF BEANS Paisley store held a charity day last year to raise vital funds for a local hospice, with one staff member even giving up her day off to sit in a bath of beans for four hours. The baked bean bath alone raised £1,000. Well done!
Close-up FA S H I O N S P E C I A L
INVESTING IN UK FASHION For some time now, office teams across GM have been involved in a range of projects to support the UK fashion industry. This year, we are doing more than ever to nurture future talent in fashion and textiles, and to support UK garment manufacturing. Initiatives include a GM apprenticeship programme, British School of Fashion scholarships, a partnership with Fashion Retail Academy and support for British textiles. We’ll be reporting back on these projects as they begin to take shape, so watch this space for updates.
M & S ST U DIO
A ROOMFUL OF IDEAS
‘M&S is doing more here – across a wider range of initiatives – than any other UK retailer. There’s a really interesting picture emerging within the company and everyone involved can benefit.’ Belinda Earl, Style Director, GM
GM A PPR EN T ICES
First for talent We have just welcomed our first-ever intake of GM apprentices, all aged 18-25, to M&S – a programme to help us build up our pipeline of future talent in GM technology. The nine apprentices will split their time between M&S and Fashion Enter, our East End-based clothing supplier, where they’ll gain experience of garment manufacturing.
Clothing from the new Best of British collection
Our new creative space, M&S Studio @ Fashion Street, is equipped with everything needed to create a garment, from sketch to first sample. The studio, in Glasgow Caledonian University’s British School of Fashion premises in East London’s Spitalfields district, provides a creative space open to all M&S design teams to develop innovative ideas away from the office, whether designing trial garments for an M&S collection or adding finishing touches to existing pieces. M&S Studio complements our existing design facilities and several members of the design team are based there permanently. One project that was worked on at the M&S Studio was our Best of British range. The 2014 collection for Autumn, which previewed at London Fashion Week in February, includes 54 new pieces, all made in Britain using the finest materials from around the UK, including cloths from Yorkshire, outerwear from Manchester and footwear made in Northamptonshire.
March / April 2014
THE POPULATION OF INDIA IN BILLIONS
THE DISTANCE IN KM TO THE UK
DI D YOU K N OW?
09 YOUR M&S
EASTERN PROMISE India is our fastest-growing Asian territory, and by 2016 we are aiming to increase the number of stores there from 38 to 80, making it our second-largest market
INDIAN ROSIE M&S lingerie is already very popular in India, accounting for 20% of our sales in the region. Our new offering will include our exclusive collaboration with Rosie Huntington Whiteley, innovations such as Waist Sculpt™ shapewear and Heatgen™ lightweight layering thermals, as well as specially trained customer assistants to help customers ‘As a team, we’re get the best bra fit. thrilled to be bringing even more fantastic BEAUTY M&S products to India.’
For the first time, we will be selling make-up in India. All beauty advisers have been specially selected and have undergone a training programme specifically designed by industry experts to ensure that customers receive the best service in this world-first new-look department.
We’ve added feminine glamour to the Lingerie and Beauty departments in the Bandra store with wooden hangers, bespoke paper bags and luxurious tissue wrapping.
RAJAN DAVID, MANAGER, BANDRA STORE
M&S Bandra offers customers quality and stylish fashions. More than 300 products exclusive to India are available at the new store, and for the first time customers in India can shop from M&S’s exclusive Savile Row Inspired collection. Created in collaboration with Richard James, one of London’s most acclaimed tailors, Savile Row Inspired offers customers the very best of British tailoring at affordable prices.
INDIA NUMBER CRUNCH
80 35k 300 33% 1/5 54% By 2016, we will Our flagship store in have increased Bandra, a suburb of the number of our Mumbai, measures November December stores from 38 to/80 35,000 sq2013 ft
March / April 2014
Bandra store sells more than 300 products that are exclusive to India
Currently, 33% of our GM products sold around the globe are made in India
Lingerie already accounts for one-fifth of our sales in the Indian market
Lingerie sales in India are expected to grow by 54% by 2017
We bring you everything you need to host the perfect Easter egg hunt Easter is a huge calendar event for M&S, second only to Christmas. There are seasonal offerings available across the whole business, from kidswear for family gatherings to colourful accessories for the home and, of course, an abundance of chocolate goodies! In this feature, four gorgeous little ones, all children of colleagues around the business, model a selection of outfits perfect for any occasion, and we talk to three employees about their departments’ Easter offerings. From left to right: Josh: Sunglasses, T72/3662V, £5; Polo shirt, T88/3451D, from £12; Jeans, T88/1689A, from £12; Shoes, T72/1603U, from £22 Amelia: Dress, T77/4098A, from £18; Bracelet, £7 (part of set); Shoes T72/2435Y, from £12 Ted: Hat, T72/3717U, £8; Shirt, T88/4858D, from £10; Shorts, T88/1380D, from £10; Shoes, T72/2207U, from £12 Sienna: Hairband, stylist’s own; Dress, T77/4347V, from £35; Shoes, T72/1714Y, from £12
Do it yourself These Hide & Seek Egg Hunt Bags contain eight mini milk chocolate eggs. £5, 285g
Product Developer, Confectionery ‘We conduct research into the Easter egg market by talking to our customers about what they’d like to buy for friends and family. Through this we have discovered that customers look for eggs to suit individual people, so we create personalities for our products, such as our two new characters, Betty Bunny – a lovely smiley bunny with a tummy filled with brightly coloured foiled eggs, and Captain Eggwash – a slightly sinister looking pirate with missing teeth and a dark chocolate eye patch. All our character eggs have an element of hand finishing, so whether it’s Betty’s pink nose or Captain Eggwash’s eye patch, our skilled chocolate makers add that special touch. That’s what makes our range different from the rest of the high street. And if customers are looking for an alternative to chocolate, there’s a special new fudge selection pack with a deliciously crumbly hot cross bun flavour or some cute bunny tail mallows.’
For the grown-ups
Treat family members to one of our luxury Easter eggs this year. Here are some of our favourites... Milk Chocolate Wrapped Egg £15, 380g Golden Lattice Milk Chocolate Egg £15, 345g
Fairtrade Dark Chocolate Egg £10, 300g
March / April 2014
Assistant Buyer, Toddler Girls
For the little ones
‘The pretty occasionwear dresses that we picked for this shoot are perfect for Easter get-togethers, and can be used as part of a bridesmaid outfit, too. It’s still a bit chilly out, but these dresses can all be worn with a cute cardigan over the top, and tights underneath if necessary. Show customers our gorgeous accessories, too.’
Take your pick from these treats, for kids big and small...
Blossom Bunny £5, 170g Hello Kitty Easter Egg £6, 210g
Captain Eggwash £6, 235g
Betty Bunny £8, 360g
Giant Bennet Bunny £20, 800g
Josh: Shirt, T88/4859D, from £10; Trousers, T88/2816D, from £10; Shoes, T72/2207U, from £12. Sienna: Dress, T77/4305V, from £25; Bracelet, £6; Shoes, T72/1714Y, from £12
March / April 2014
Best foot forward
Walkmates sandals, T72/2915U, £20
Snug as a bug
Bunny onesie, T86/4137, from £17
Waistcoat outfit, T88/4440A, from £30
Lovely in lace Dress, T77/4346V, from £35
Amelia: Necklace and Bracelet set, £7; Dress T77/4383A, from £16. Ted: T-shirt T88/1272D, from £8, Shorts, T88/1811D, from £9
Claire Thomas, Brand & Marketing Manager, Home and Gifting
‘Easter is a huge event in Home and Gifting. Like Christmas, it’s an occasion when friends and family come together. Our aim is for Easter to be a calendar event that is all wrapped up in M&S – we want customers to come to us for everything they could possibly need for this family-filled occasion. So if a customer comes in looking for bedding and towels for guests, don’t forget to tell them about some of our seasonal updates for the home, such as our cute printed cushions and themed egg cups, or the kitchen essentials that they need to create the perfect Easter roast.’
One more in every basket If a customer is looking for hot cross buns…
Or maybe even this delicious Easter Bunny Carrot Cake.
Show them our first ever Giant Hot Cross Bun...
Four Luxury Hot Cross Buns, £1.49, 310g
Large Luxury Hot Cross Bun, £2.99, 400g
Easter Bunny Carrot Cake, £12, 1,076g
Show them these trendy trousers...
If a customer is browsing for kids’ knitwear...
Cardigan, T77/1111C, from £16
Or these funky trainers.
Trousers, T77/3129A; T77/3127A, £11
Trainers, T72/2000G, from £20
Tell them about our Easter-themed homewear like this cute egg cup...
Or this gorgeous printed cushion. Who could resist! If a customer is looking for Easter treats for the family...
Six Cheeky Chicks, £5, 120g
March / April 2014
Egg Cup, T34/2198D, £6
Cushion, T47/3480 £12
‘MY FAVOURITE MENSWEAR LOOK OF THE SEASON IS SMART-CASUAL, WHICH SEES QUALITY TAILORING, LIKE OUR STYLISH JACKETS AND CHINOS, PAIRED WITH ON-TREND ESSENTIALS, SUCH AS A PAIR OF LOAFERS OR BOAT SHOES.’ JON SWARTLAND, MENSWEAR BUYING MANAGER
SEASONAL STYLE From pastel t-shirts to stylish suits, we’ve got your summer wardrobe sorted
In the pink: Pair a hint of pink – the colour of the season – with softcoloured outerwear, such as light grey or pale camel.
‘This summer, men should boost their wardrobes with cool casual shirts and polos – think striped versions, simple styles and bold check designs.’ Laura Johnson, Menswear Marketing
Feet first: Add a modern edge to a classic look with a pair of loafers.
March / April 2014
Off duty: Create the perfect smart-casual look with chino shorts and on-trend stripes.
GET THE LOOK Key accessories for the season
B E LT A N D B R AC E S
For the ultimate preppy look, add a pair of funky braces. T12/1036, £19.50
A SPL ASH OF COLOUR
For an instant style update, add a pop of pink. Tie, T12/7335, £15
H AT S O N
Turn heads for the right reasons in this stylish trilby. T09/1255M, £19.50
Suit up: This M&S Collection Suit is the perfect attire for a wedding or a day at the races.
P R AC T I C A L FA S H I O N
Believe it or not, rucksacks are a key trend this season. T09/3674N, £45
FOR THE OFFICE
Impress colleagues with this chic mock crocodile laptop bag. T09/0151C, £129
March / April 2014
‘FITTING ECO-FEATURES INTO EXISTING STORES IS AN AREA OF FOCUS FOR M&S AND OUR AIM, FOLLOWING THIS TRIAL, IS TO ROLL OUT NEW SUSTAINABLE INITIATIVES TO A NUMBER OF STORES EACH YEAR.’ CHRIS MARNEY, HEAD OF ENGINEERING, PADDINGTON OFFICE
March / April 2014
17 YOUR M&S
WE GO EVEN GREENER How four Simply Food stores are boosting their Plan A credentials At the end of last year we installed new eco-features in Simply Food stores at Epping, Heswall, Oswestry and Slough. The success of our new sustainable stores, such as Cheshire Oaks, helped us to learn more about ‘green’ technology – lessons that we have applied in retrofitting these four stores. After our implementation of the following eco-features at these sites, we will pilot other new sustainable initiatives with the aim of rolling these out in more stores every year.
The amazing eco-features, which aim to deliver up to 40% savings in energy, include:
1 LED LIGHTING
100% of the lighting on the sales floor is now LED, which is capable of lasting 50,000 trading hours and significantly reduces energy consumption. Focusing light on shelves and products, this lighting enhances our customers’ shopping experience by ensuring products and labels are easier to see.
acts to filter pollution and create an aesthetically pleasing feature for the store.
4 HEAT RECLAIM
The store’s heating system is supplemented by reusing waste heat from the refrigeration system. In addition to achieving energy savings, the system makes the Food Hall experience more comfortable for shoppers by maintaining a consistent temperature on the sales floor.
Harvested rainwater provides the majority of the water needed to irrigate the store’s living wall.
3 GREEN LIVING
In addition to providing natural insulation and encouraging biodiversity by attracting native birds and insects, the green wall
March / April 2014
‘As employees, we all know about the brilliant work that M&S does as part of Plan A, but with something visual like the green wall we get to demonstrate this to our customers and chat to them about our work, too.’ LEE OWEN, MANAGER, EPPING STORE
THE ‘YOUR SHAPEWEAR FINDER’ WEBPAGE ON M&S.COM IS A GREAT RESOURCE TO DISCOVER THE PERFECT SHAPEWEAR GARMENT FOR YOU OR YOUR CUSTOMER
We talk to two experts about our extensive range of shapewear, and launch an exciting competition
Paschal Little Head of Innovation & Quality, Lingerie
Karl Knight Head of Innovation & Quality, Womenswear
March / April 2014
19 YOUR M&S
‘We go to great lengths to ensure that we remain market-leaders in lingerie and other shapewear.’
SUPPORTING CAST Some of our shapewear available in store
Paschal Little, Head of Innovation & Quality, Lingerie
PA S C H A L L I T T L E , H E A D O F I N N O VAT I O N & Q U A L I T Y, LINGERIE
Corsets and foundation garments go back centuries, but these were rigidly engineered garments that were notoriously uncomfortable and restrictive to wear. A big breakthrough was the invention of Lycra in the early 60s. It was a real game changer and that’s when M&S started to develop shapewear garments as we know them. The next big breakthrough for us was the launch of our magic knickers, or Magicwear, in 2002. That was when we were able to engineer the garments to be seamless, so you don’t see them under tight-fitting clothes. Another recent evolution was when shapewear fabrics became lighter and finer, so materials like lace can now have shaping properties. This means that garments have become much easier to wear every day.
We go to great lengths to ensure that we stay ahead of the game and remain market-leaders in lingerie and other shapewear. The expertise of the teams that we have both within our business and our supply base is unrivalled. We visit the biggest lingerie and textile shows in the world, in Paris and Shanghai. We also ensure that there’s a great deal of collaboration between the technologists and designers at M&S. Both teams work closely with our suppliers to bring our innovative ideas to life. Together, we ensure that our products are authentic and work effectively, but also look beautiful. A perfect blend of style and science.
S E C R E T S L I M M I N G™
Developed with the British Chiropractic Association to give your posture a boost.
Made with innovative ultralight microfibre fabric for light, all-over shaping.
SLEEK AND SCULPT™
DROP A DRESS SIZE
Garments free from side seams that slim and shape for a noticeable inch loss effect.
An innovative lining helps you fit into a dress cut a size smaller than you usually wear
WHAT THE PRESS SAY… DAILY MAIL Drop a Dress Size Dress: ‘I felt snug and sucked in in the black slip. It feels like super firm controlwear with thick, good quality fabric which smooths the silhouette and pushes my boobs up (double thumbs up)… The lace was good quality – you can tell it’s not any old high street dress. Definitely worth the money.’
DAILY MIRROR Waist Sculpt: ‘Ditch the diets, girls… all you need for that classic hourglass figure is a special pair of M&S knickers. Women are snapping up the new range of underwear which gives them the same curvy figure as Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks.’
DAILY MAIL March / April 2014
Sculpt & Lift Jeans: ‘Marks & Spencer have the answer to all of your skinny jean-wearing prayers with a new pair that allows you to cheat your way to the perfect perky bottom.’
M&S TV IS ANOTHER GREAT SOURCE OF INFORMATION ABOUT OUR INNOVATIVE SHAPEWEAR PRODUCTS
We trademark most of our products, meaning that they are exclusive to us. We’ve also recently launched and trademarked Perfect Poise™, which is our posture range that we developed with the British Chiropractic Association. K A R L K N I G H T, H E A D O F I N N O VAT I O N & Q U A L I T Y, WOMENSWEAR
In Womenswear, we have developed Drop A Dress Size, as well as our Sculpt & Lift jeans, which help create a perter, rounder derrière. They have been a huge success and we now offer them in three washes and three different styles – straight, slim boot and skinny. Like Lingerie, we work incredibly hard to make sure that women look and feel their best. We even used 3D body scanners when creating our Drop A Dress Size dress, which we began working on in 2012. We set ourselves a target of developing a product that would allow women to instantly fit into a dress cut one size smaller than they usually would buy. We achieved this using a powerful stretch lining that sits underneath the bust and pulls in the tummy, so that it flattens the stomach and cinches in the waist, as well as smoothing the silhouette.
SOME SHAPEWEAR STATS
In 2001, we won the Queen’s Award for Innovation for our Secret Support™ T-shirts, tops and swimwear
Magic Shaping Hosiery has been proven to reduce the measurements of 80% of wearers
1 IN 5
1 in every 5 pairs of tights we sell has shapewear benefits
Autumn 2014 sees the launch of Secret Slimming™ in Womenswear, which will be more of an occasionwear offering. It’s an internal lining that is constructed to slim the relevant body part based on the garment in question: in the arm, legs or tummy. The range will include two dresses, two skirts, a trouser and a legging. This range is about modest control within fashionable pieces, ensuring that the wearer feels the absolute best she possibly can when she goes out.
These days, it isn’t just women who are body-conscious – men are, too. So, we have developed products for men as well. Bodymax™ tops are engineered with a hidden support panel that flattens and supports the torso, but can be worn under everyday clothes. There’s something for everyone in terms of shapewear now, whatever your body shape and whether you’re male or female, but we’d be excited to hear about any other innovative ideas that our employees have.
We want to hear your shapewear suggestions! Do you have an idea brewing that could help our customers look and feel great? Is there an area of the body that you think we haven’t targeted yet?
Send us your suggestions by email or post by 27 June 2014 and you could win the chance to meet with some of our experts and discuss your ideas. Judging will take place in July and the winners(s) will be announced in the November/December issue of YOUR M&S. This competition is open only to employees of the Marks and Spencer Group of Companies who are permanent UK or ROI residents and are aged 18 or over only, employed by the company as of 27 June 2014. The competition will start on 27 March 2014. To enter, participants must send us their own original idea for a Shapewear garment, and a short explanation of no more than 100 words explaining what inspired their idea. Enter via e-mail at: Employee.Comms@marks-andspencer.com. Or by post to: Clare Goulty, Employee Communications, Marks & Spencer, Waterside House, UG East, 35 North Wharf Road, London W2 1NW. Closing date for entries is 27 June 2014. M&S will notify the winner by 3 October 2014 and include the details of the process that will follow. If M&S at any time considers an entry has been plagiarised or is inappropriate, or that the entrant has otherwise failed to comply with these terms and conditions, it may disqualify the entry. The winner may be required, subject to their consent, to take part in reasonable post-competition publicity for M&S, which may include filming, photography or other recordings required by M&S or other third parties for publicity purposes and the winner agrees to the use of their personalMarch data for such purposes. The entrant agrees / April 2014 the design submitted is their own original work and is not copied in whole or in part from any other third party and assigns all copyright and intellectual property developed during this competition and in performance of the contract, including the submission of their design, exclusively to M&S, and the entrant shall enter into a contract with M&S on agreed terms. Entries cannot be returned. For full terms and conditions, please see Today@M&S or My Store Workspace.
21 YOUR M&S
Bib and tucker For the first time, we’re launching a baby food range. Tiny Taste Buds is a selection of delicious meals created from healthy ingredients, designed to meet children’s nutritional needs at each stage of their development We believe that it’s important for children to experience delicious food and develop their taste buds from an early age. Our leading nutritionists and chefs have carefully selected the highest quality ingredients to suit the development of children at every stage. We introduce new ingredients from different food groups at the right time, so our customers can rest assured their child is getting a balanced and varied diet. As little ones grow, the food journey extends to incorporate a range of senses, such as texture, flavour, touch and interaction with food to help form good eating habits for life.
(around 6 months) Our entry range contains 100% organic ingredients, with both sweet and savoury recipes
(7 months +)
This range incudes gently mashed meat and veggies for babies moving on
Stage 3 (10 months +) A range of scrummy favourites, with no artificial colours or flavours
‘This range will support our partnership with Great Ormond Street Hospital, which has raised more than £800,000 to support research into nutrition and allergy-related conditions.’ Claire Hughes, Head of Nutrition and Science
March / April 2014
Employees who helped their stores win the One Day Wardrobe Clear-out were shown around Oxfam’s clothes recycling factory to find out exactly what happens to garments that have been Shwopped
ast October, several stores around the country proved themselves to be top Shwoppers during the One Day Wardrobe Clear-out. Gyle store, Longwell Green, Craigleith, Holloway Road, Formby Simply Food and the Springfield Outlet all beat other stores in their shape of chain and collectively gathered an incredible 1,368 bags of clothes.
80 tonnes of clothing a week, grouping them together depending on garment type, condition, style and fabric. The clothes move around the building on conveyor belts as they are sorted by textile specialists, who ensure that they go wherever they will raise the most money for Oxfam. Andy from Formby Simply Food told us: ‘We learnt that clothes are sold in Oxfam stores or online, or sent overseas to Africa and A staggering 392,000 Worthy winners Eastern Europe. What pieces of clothing were Representatives isn’t sold is recycled. Shwopped during last from the stores were High-quality material October’s One Day rewarded with a trip to can be made into new Wardrobe Clear-out Oxfam’s Wastesaver fabric – such as our ‘Shwopping factory’ in limited edition Shwop Coat West Yorkshire to see for – while low-quality material themselves what happens to the can be used for things like loft garments once they leave insulation or car seat fillings. Not a the store. stitch is wasted – every garment The Shwopping factory is a textiles donated and penny raised helps fight recycling plant that sorts through poverty throughout the world.’
Did you know?
Our teams got the chance to roll up their sleeves and turn their hands to helping sort the clothes. Paul, from Springfield Outlet, was one of the employees who took part. ‘I’ve been so impressed with how much effort goes into grading the clothes,’ he told us. The true value of Shwopping The visitors were also shown examples of items that Oxfam buys with the proceeds from Shwopping, so as to understand the ‘true’ value of garments. These included the ‘Oxfam bucket’, which is specially designed to keep water clean and disease-free. Later in the day, the Shwoppers were treated to a fashion show created by volunteers – many of them local fashion students – who help find hidden gems to be sold online or in Oxfam’s stores. Some items are taken to be sold at music festivals, where Oxfam has pop-up shops kitted out with cool wellies and
March / April 2014
‘OUR STORE LOVES A COMPETITION AND WE WERE DETERMINED TO WIN THE ONE DAY WARDROBE CLEAR-OUT. I PERSONALLY WENT ROUND ALL THE OTHER STORES IN OUR SHOPPING CENTRE AND COLLECTED ALL THEIR FAULTY GARMENTS, WHICH WOULD OTHERWISE HAVE BEEN BINNED.’ PAUL FROM SPRINGFIELD OUTLET
Norris from Gyle store lends a helping hand
Strike a pose: one of the models in the fashion show
DID THESE STORES BECOME TOP SHWOPPERS?
Employees and volunteers sorting clothes
Shwopped garments being upgraded
Did you know?
Six sacks of Shwopped clothes can buy an emergency pop-up tent to help displaced refugees
fancy dress, while other clothes – such as retro and designer items – are taken to Oxfam’s boutique stores. ‘I loved the fashion show,’ Michael from Gyle store told us. ‘Clothes that many may think deserve to be in the bin can be a real treasure to someone else.’
Seeing it first hand The day finished with the teams hearing from Ian Falkingham, who used to run an Oxfam store before moving to war-torn Sierra Leone, where he has witnessed the direct benefits of Shwopping. Ian explained how profits are used to support local March / April 2014
projects and help lift people out of poverty. ‘In Sierra Leone, one in five children will die before their fifth birthday. The money raised from Shwopping goes directly toward slashing this number. This isn’t a handout, it’s an investment in these people’s future.’ Debbie from Longwell Green store told us: ‘We were all so enthusiastic about Shwopping anyway, but coming here today has made us even more passionate about it.’ Vanessa, also from Springfield Outlet, was similarly enthusiastic. ‘It’s given us food for thought about how to promote Shwopping. There’s a really clear message for everyone, don’t stick it in the bin – Shwop it!’
Norris from Gyle store told us: ‘Our VM teams created some amazing displays from clothes that had been Shwopped in our store, which prompted customers to ask more about what we were doing and how they could participate.’ Sophie from Craigleith store explained: ‘We had a greeter for the One Day Wardrobe Clear-out who struck up conversation with customers about all things Shwopping – once they knew about it they were really interested and wanted to know more.’ ‘I think the secret to our success was recording very accurately what our customers donate,’ Lesley from Holloway Road store commented. ‘I check the boxes every day and empty them if necessary. When we have a full cage I contact our local Oxfam shop for them to come and collect it all. I also make sure I record every single bag that we donate to Oxfam.’
Did you know?
Shwopping will help reduce the one billion items of clothes sent to landfill in the UK every year
Meet the experts
Meet the experts
Horticulture Hero Karen Thornton from Bromley Store travelled to Cornwall to chat with farmer Rob Stacey of Rowe Farming, our supplier of daffodils Karen to Rob: Tell us about Rowe farming. Rob: Brothers Mark and Edward
Rowe are the third generation of their family to work for the farm, which traditionally grew potatoes. In 2011, we recognised that the potato and daffodil seasons complemented each other perfectly, so we decided to expand. That’s when they brought me on board, as my background is in flower farming. Growing both potatoes and daffodils means that we are able to use our equipment effectively and employ more people for longer. We now exclusively supply M&S with all of their outdoor daffodils.
Karen: You won the M&S Farming for the Future award last year. What do you think made you stand out from your competitors? Rob: We were told that we won
the award because of our dedicated approach to staff development and welfare. Each year, we employ around 700 pickers for the full season, which runs from January to Easter. We are responsible for their accommodation, transport and welfare. Although it’s hard work, the amount of money that they can earn in one season can be life-changing. We have a great return rate, too; between 65% and 85% come back to work for us each year and some have been with us for nine or ten seasons.
SOME FLOWERY FACTS The UK grows 90% of the world’s daffodils, and 70% of those are grown in Cornwall At Rowe Farming, 700 daffodil pickers work for the season, which starts in January and ends around Easter 120 million daffodil stems are sold in M&S every year, making it the fastest-selling flower line In the week before Mother’s Day we can sell 11 million stems, and in the week before Easter this can increase to 15 million A daffodil can grow 50mm in one day
Karen: How has the recent weather affected the growing and harvesting of daffodils? Rob: The heavy rainfall that the
UK saw at the beginning of the year had a huge impact on harvesting and made our work very challenging. Every single daffodil stem is picked by hand, so you can imagine what it has been like for our workers to be out in the fields in the conditions that the country has seen recently. But we were all very determined and carried on picking the daffodils and supplying M&S, the only high street retailer that we grow them for. Thankfully, we are now back on track.
Karen: Why do you grow so many varieties of daffodils? Rob: We grow 40 varieties of
Interview swap Rob to Karen: Bromley store sells an incredible amount of daffodils, how do you maximise this?
The great thing about daffodils is that they don’t need to be stored in water, so they can be placed anywhere around the store. If we have enough, I place some around till points in womenswear and menswear, as well as in carts and buckets around the Food Hall. Is there anything that you think your customers would like to see?
The double-headed daffodils are incredibly popular. I think that if we sold bunches of those they would fly off the shelves.
Our 100-stem bouquet, which contains 80 daffodils and 20 tulips, is M&S’s biggest seller in flowers on M&S.com – do you think that is something that customers would like to see in store?
daffodils, from standard yellow daffodils to double-headed ones. We primarily do this to lengthen Potentially. I’ve seen these the season, as certain varieties perform differently depending on bouquets online and they are spectacular. But I do think the the weather conditions. We have appeal of the daffodils is their 250 fields across 50 sites in price point – at £1 for 16 or Cornwall, starting at one end of £3 for 50, they’re a bargain. the county and ending at the Customers who buy them are other side, for weather reasons. of all ages but they are We recently planted fields incredibly popular with of daffodils in Scotland, Want to young children who too, to extend our season even further, know more? want to use their pocket money to because of course Find out more about our buy some for it stays cooler daffodils’ journey from farm to store in the digital Mother’s Day or as up there version of YOUR M&S an Easter gift. for longer. at MSW or Today@M&S
March / April 2014
â€˜Every single daffodil is picked by handâ€™
Farmer Rob Stacey and Karen Thornton, a Horticulture Hero from Bromley store
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT OUR FABULOUS FARMERS – FROM THE CHINN FAMILY, WHO GROW OUR ASPARAGUS, TO MARK ROBINS, WHO PRODUCES OUR MILK – ON OUR PLAN A WEBSITE: PLANA.MARKSANDSPENCER.COM
YELLOW FEVER Every single one of the 120 million daffodil stems that we sell in stores each year is grown and hand-picked on the Cornish coastline at Rowe Farming. Here, we look at the journey that these stems take from field to stores
Rowe Farming employs 700 daffodil pickers every season, which runs from January to Easter. The farm is responsible for the accommodation, transport and welfare of all their seasonal employees.
March / April 2014
It takes between 48 and 72 hours for daffodils to reach M&S stores from the fields in Cornwall where they are grown.
Above: Once the flowers have been picked and sorted into bundles of either 16 or 50, they are transported to a packing house where they are hand-wrapped. Left: Horticulture Hero Karen Thornton, from Bromley store, travelled to Rowe Farming in Cornwall to meet with farmer Rob Stacey, who is responsible for daffodil production.
March / April 2014
Lucy Randall of corporate communications finds the answers to your questions
I imagine that this would be a relatively easy way to increase footfall and sales and would be appreciated by members of multicultural communities. James Parkin, Leicester store
Customers regularly ask me if we sell baby food. Many are very disappointed when I have to inform them we don’t. Baby food is a huge market and the majority of customers who come to our Chiswick branch have young children. Baby food would encourage them to shop more frequently instead of going to other retailers.
Thank you for your letter, James. Indeed, we want to help all our customers from different faiths celebrate festivals that are special to them. That’s why M&S.com, our flagship, offers cards to help our customers mark different religious festivals including Bar Mitzvahs, Chinese New Year and Diwali. Just click on the Card & Stationery tab to have a look.
Shashi Jhalli, Chiswick Simply Foods
An arty approach You will be pleased to hear, Shashi, that to make us more relevant to more customers more often, we will indeed be launching a baby food range in April this year. Our new Tiny Taste Buds range (see page 21) will be created from healthy ingredients, designed to meet children’s nutritional needs at the early stages of development. Our leading nutritionists and chefs have carefully selected the highest quality ingredients so our customers can rest assured their child is getting a balanced and varied diet. We hope that the meals will help children form good eating habits for life.
I work at a store in a very multicultural area and I was wondering if we could offer Diwali gift cards? We could do it for other religious festivals, too?
A £10 M&S gift voucher for every question featured and £25 for the Star Letter*. We really want to hear from you – we’d love to know what’s on your mind. Please send your letters to the address on p3 of this magazine. *Letters may be edited for publication.
I wondered why we don’t have gift cards with some beautiful pictures of our food on? We could showcase great shots of our food or put ‘meal for two’ or ‘celebrate with bubbly’ on the front of them. The possibilities are endless. Alison Round, Retail Customer Services This is a lovely idea, Alison. This is something that has been looked at before but has not yet been trialled. We conduct regular reviews of our gift card offer to make sure we are providing our customers with what they want. Currently, there isn’t a huge appetite for such a card. However, just because there are no current plans it doesn’t mean there wouldn’t be in the future.
Top of the socks
I work in the Lingerie department and we are often asked for soft top socks for our older lady customers who have swollen legs. We sell this type of sock for gentlemen, but not for ladies. Could we provide some for ladies too? Gill Hunt, Walsall Outlet
We are always trying to develop new products to give our customers exactly what they want, and a subject that comes up time and time again is ‘comfort’. This is why we did indeed do a trial of women’s soft top socks last year. Unfortunately, the trial showed there wasn’t much interest in the product, so we didn’t extend it. However, we regularly conduct full reviews on such things, so we may look at this again in the future.
We often have issues with our coffee loyalty cards. Our customers love them, but different stamps are being used by different stores, some stores use signatures instead of stamps, and other stores stamp receipts because they have run out of cards! Would it not be better to change to a plastic system? Costa has such a system where the data is collected and stored, and points added at time of purchase. This would not only resolve the issue around stamps, but save a few trees as well. The volume of coffee cards we go through can’t be very Plan A friendly? Keith Thomson, Banbury store Thanks Keith, this is a really great suggestion. We tested an electronic plastic version of our loyalty card earlier this year at our Café in Merchant Square, London, and it was rather successful. Following that trial, we will be launching plastic cards later this year in around 30 stores with a view to rolling it out further if they continue to perform well. We would do this while noting the demographics of our customers in each area and seeing what is appropriate. We are also working with our e-commerce teams to try to use smartphones as a way of storing loyalty points. Watch this space! March / April 2014
Sit back, relax and play these games See if you can fit all of these wedding words into the crisscross grid, reading across and down 3 letters Sun Tie 4 letters Cake Hats Hymn Meal Silk Suit Vows Wife
Bennet, the giant Easter bunny! We are giving away Bennet, our giant chocolate bunny, this Easter. Weighing in at 900g, heâ€™s the perfect present for any chocoholic! For more of our delicious Easter products, as well as everything you need to host the perfect egg hunt, turn to page 10. The feature includes some gorgeous Home products as well as colourful kidsâ€™ occasionwear, cakes and hot cross buns aplenty.
5 letters Dress Groom Guest Toast
Indulge in our giant Bennet Bunny this Easter. Email us with your name, store or office details at the email address below by 11 April
Terms & conditions Entries must be received by 23:59 on Friday 11 April 2014. The prize draw is open to employees of the Marks & Spencer Group of Companies who are permanent residents of the UK and ROI and are aged 18 or over only. Only one entry per person is permitted. No responsibility will be taken for late, lost, indecipherable or misdirected entries. One winner will be drawn at random on Monday 14 April 2014 under the supervision of an independent person. The prize is non-transferable, non-refundable, subject to availability and there is no cash alternative. The winner will be notified by Friday 18 April 2014 by phone. M&S reserves the right to substitute the prize for one which is, in its sole discretion, of equal value. M&S reserves the right to cancel the prize draw at any stage if deemed necessary due to circumstances outside its control. M&S is not liable for any delay or failure to perform any obligation to the winner or other entrants that is caused by circumstances beyond its reasonable control or by any act or omission of any third party. The name and county of the winner will be available by sending a stamped addressed envelope to YOUR M&S magazine at the M&S Office at Waterside House. The prize draw shall be governed by the laws of England and Wales. The promoter of the prize draw is Marks & Spencer plc.
Let us entertain you... Why not try this Sudoku for a quick lunchtime brain workout? Good luck.
6 letters Cheers
7 letters Best man Success
8 letters Ceremony Register
9 letters Reception
Do you have some thing to say? Email Employee.Comms@marks-and-spencer.com
Have a ! r te as E cracking