6 March, 2019

Six Months of Partnership with Founders Factory

We’re no strangers to innovation at M&S. As part of our ongoing drive to put digital first, we’ve invested in Founders Factory as a UK and European retail partner. Founders Factory is the brainchild of Lastminute.com founder, Brent Hoberman, and Henry Lane Fox.

Together with Founders Factory, we’ve launched Founders Factory Retail, an exciting joint venture that is putting some new firsts on the map. They source the best new startup thinking; we add our wealth of expertise and resources, and together we make sure the best and brightest projects get the platform they deserve. It’s the perfect meeting of minds. Daniel is our Lead for the project. He’s excited by the possibilities.

“I manage the partnership from M&S’ side. This involves everything from validating startups and project managing trials to organising start-up-themed events. In short, it’s my job to ensure the partnership delivers for M&S. It has the potential to play a crucial role in our transformation. It’s off to a great start.”

As well as the opportunity to diversify our business and take it in new directions, the partnership offers a chance to enhance our renowned customer service. This was the thinking behind our very first sign-up, Charged Up. It’s an on-the-go charging service that allows our customers to stay connected while they’re shopping. We’re set to trial it in eight London stores and Charged Up has a further 250 docking stations across the city.

There are also projects underway for Clothing & Home, where we are testing new software from a technology start-up, and for HR, where we have signed our first commercial contract. This just goes to show the wealth and variety of thinking out there.

“Meeting and working with entrepreneurs is probably the most inspiring part of my role. They are a unique set of professionals. Passionate, pacey and fiercely determined, they bring a razor-sharp focus to making their company a success. These are all businesses solving retail problems, driving new trends and looking to disrupt traditional markets."

All the early signs point to the start of a beautiful – and fruitful – relationship with Founders Factory.

Inside M&S