Oct 12, 2009
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Marks & Spencer revamps Web site in push for growth

Oct 12, 2009

LONDON, Oct 12 (Reuters) - British retailer Marks & Spencer (MKS.L) said on Monday 12 October it had upgraded its Web site offer as part of a drive to increase annual sales of M&S Direct to 500 million pounds ($793 million) by 2011.

Marks & Spencer

The retailer, which will hold its first "investor day" for a decade on Tuesday 13 October, said it had enhanced the Web site's core functionality and design to improve customers' shopping experience and drive revenue.

New features include catwalk videos, stock availability information and improved search facilities.

M&S, which trades from over 690 UK stores, also said it would upgrade its "Shop Your Way" service from 46 to 163 stores in the next month.

This service allows customers to place clothing, beauty and homeware orders in stores, online or over the phone, for home delivery, or free delivery to their nearest store for collection.

Last week M&S, which also operates more than 300 stores in 40 overseas territories, extended its online international delivery service to 80 countries. [ID:nL6263483]

M&S Direct posted sales of 324.4 million pounds in 2008/09, up 19 percent.

On Tuesday 13 October the 125-year-old firm is expected to detail plans to upgrade its supply chain in a strategy update that will give shareholders and analysts a chance to assess presentations by finance and operations director Ian Dyson, head of food John Dixon, and head of clothing Kate Bostock -- the internal candidates to take on the role of chief executive.

M&S has been under fire from some investors for 18 months for allowing Stuart Rose to take on the role of executive chairman, which combines the roles of CEO and chairman against corporate governance guidelines.

The group has said it will appoint a CEO next year, when Rose will become non-executive chairman before leaving by July 2011, and that it would prefer an internal appointment.

Shares in M&S were up 0.7 pence at 364 pence at 1322 GMT, valuing the firm at 5.74 billion pounds. ($1=.6304 Pound) (Reporting by James Davey, Editing by Mark Potter)

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