Creating a Product Sensation: The Love Sausage
Take a sausage. Wrap it in bacon. Season with truffle. Serve with a digital-first mindset, and create a new product sensation. This is how the digital transformation of our business is reaching beyond online to make a real-world impact.
Digital is not just about offering improved convenience for our customers, or a shop that’s open all hours. It’s ingrained in our mindset. The possibilities it gives us to redefine and reposition M&S are virtually endless.
The latest example of how it touches our business is in how we turned our new Love Sausage product into a sizzling, soar-away success, just in time for Valentine’s Day. This is how our Press Assistant, Harry Seymour, saw to it.
“Between PR and social, we decided to reveal the product on social media first to start conversations with customers and fuel excitement for Love Sausage. We knew our tweet - Are you ready for our love sausage? – would shock our followers, so after the tweet was posted, we immediately issued our press release. This had a bit more detail like cooking instructions, and a quote from our product developer, Sarah, to give the product a bit more character and more of a news-hook for the press to go after.
“We surprised the press by making M&S appear younger and more relevant. It definitely helped to get press wanting to write about us more.”
We must give our customers a mention here too. They were a big part of why the press picked up the story and ran with it so positively. That’s the power of conversation, and the impact of putting digital-first.Inside M&S
In these competitive times, no retailer can afford to stand still, and M&S is transforming to stay ahead of the curve. Digital is at the heart of this transformation and we’ve made significant steps forward to become a digital-first retailer, with pioneering initiatives like our new Honeywell product search app, ‘Try Tuesday’ styling, and even ‘shoppable’ posts on Instagram.
M&S has been collaborating with Decoded to create the world’s first Data Academy in retail – and to say that we’re ‘excited’ about this partnership and what it can achieve would be the understatement of the year!
The M&S Data Academy is digitally upskilling 1,000 of our colleagues. Our aim is to take people from every function of the business and at different levels – store managers and visual merchandisers to finance professionals and buyers – and create a new raft of data-skilled leaders to lead digital change across the business and help us leapfrog the competition.
“We don’t do things by half measures at M&S. When we commit to take something on, that commitment is total... So, if you join us in the near future, you can expect to be part of some big changes in the shape of industry-leading initiatives.” said Tim Piper, M&S Leadership, Development and Culture Manager.
As part of the M&S Data Academy, colleagues can enrol for The Data Fellowship, an 18 month in-work data science skills programme funded by the Apprenticeship Levy. It’s a great opportunity to learn to harness the most cutting-edge data analytics tools such as “R” and “Python” and adopt technologies such as machine learning. Colleagues finish the programme with a Data Analytics qualification accredited by the British Computing Society.
Be a digital transformer. Unlock the wealth of data at M&S to leave other retailers trailing in our wake. And open your mind to the sheer possibilities it offers for your career.Inside M&S
An M&S Apprenticeship opens all kinds of doors
Matthew Meek is an M&S Apprentice Data Analyst. Nothing too unusual about that. But how many Data Analysts can say they have developed a cake that will be sold in M&S Cafés up and down the country in Autumn 2019? We only know of one. This is Matt’s story.
“It was the brand that drew me here. M&S occupies a unique place in retail and in the hearts and minds of the British public. Not just British actually, now we’re a truly international brand. I joined the business in my apprentice role straight from school after finishing my A-levels. I’d also been working at a high-street mobile phone store, so retail wasn’t completely new to me.
“I knew I’d be in good hands here and M&S has certainly more than lived up to its reputation for doing things with a great deal of thought and care. It’s possibly the best decision I’ve ever made. Working here has surpassed my expectations. I was treated as a fully-fledged member of the team from the word go. Any idea that apprentices are somehow less than anyone else is certainly not true here. I’ve been given useful opportunities to develop and the whole experience has been great. There’s been an emphasis on college coming before work too, as classroom learning is a big part of the apprentice offer.
“As a result, I’m personally hugely pleased with how I’m developing. Currently, I work in Supply Chain and Logistics within the A&R (Allocation and Replenishment) Central Team. Being an apprentice means much of my time is spent learning how to perform the role. This also involves attending college as I’m working towards a Level 4 Data Analysis qualification as part of the scheme. I’m covering a lot of ground on the job too: raising stock orders with suppliers; being an Agile Scrum Master for my team - which involves a lot of project and people management; plus, I perform in-depth routine and ad-hoc analysis for key business stakeholders.
“Obviously it was a bit of a shock to the system going from a medium-sized school to an office containing thousands of people. However, M&S made sure the transition was as smooth as possible. When I started, a plan was set out of what to expect over the course of the programme and who my direct lines of support were. My line manager and others are all incredibly supportive of the programme as a whole and have really helped bed it in.”
So, the question on everyone’s lips is: where does the cake fit in?
“The simple answer is my cake was judged to be the best entry in the Cake Off we held to celebrate the Macmillan Coffee Morning. I’d never baked anything before either. I was gobsmacked. My prize for winning is to have my cake sold at M&S Cafés for a month around the same time next year.
“It’s exciting and feels great. It’s weird to think that soon I’ll be able to go into a store and see something I created, I don’t think it will fully sink in until I actually see it in store. I think it’s amazing that each purchase contributes to such an amazing cause, hopefully it helps to raise a huge amount of money!
“It just goes to show that anything is possible here. The working culture is driven yet still manages to be relaxed when it needs to be. I feel the perfect work-life has been achieved here; people are passionate about delivering results; the business is passionate that this shouldn’t come at the cost of a fully rounded life outside work.”Inside M&S
Chipping Norton: We’re on our way
A little piece of M&S is coming to Chipping Norton. 7,000 square feet of it to be exact, in the shape of our latest Simply Foods store. Nestled in the heart of the Costwolds, Chipping Norton will boost our presence in the area as, right now, apart from our BP franchise in Stow-on-the-Wold, Cotswold residents have to go as far afield as Cirencester, Evesham and Bath for their M&S favourites.
Our presence in Chipping Norton will also save locals here a one-hour round trip to Banbury, Witney or Summertown Simply Food, all of which are about a 30 minute drive away. We won’t, however, be joining the other big retail brands and independents on the pretty high street. Our site will be on the east of the town, off the main A44 London road, which we’ll share with three other retailers, together with the 85 parking spaces located there.
As well as our Click and Collect service, you can look forward to freshly prepared goods, courtesy of our instore Bakery. Grace Allcock, our store manager there, is keen to welcome you and had this to say about our arrival in the town:
“Chipping Norton is an exciting location for our new M&S simply food store. It is the first of its kind in the area and has huge potential. It boasts stunning scenery and has fantastic transport links to the neighbouring towns, the surrounding community are eagerly awaiting the opening.”
All of which is great news, whether you wish to shop with us, or come and join us on the other side of the counter. We have roles available for Salesfloor Customer Assistants; Store Operations Customer Assistants and In Store Bakery Assistants, as well as in FHSO and Administration.
Whatever reason you have to visit us, you can reach us directly from the A44 and A429 via Moreton-in-Marsh. There’s a good local bus service that connects with several neighbouring towns, including Moreton, Stow-on-the-Wold and Shipston-on-Stour.
We look forward to welcoming you soon. If you are interested in working in store, we have a range of shifts available and it’s easy to apply online at http://careers.marksandspencer.com/new-store-registrationInside M&S
Our next port of call is Gosport
Our latest Simply Food store is about to drop anchor in Gosport. So whether you’re looking for your very own M&S favourites or even a new role, it’s time to get on board. We’ll be treating the 70,000-plus people that live there to a whole 9,000 sq ft of imaginative food ideas, and we expect it to be a huge success.
Find us on the Fareham Road about three miles north of the town centre. We’ll be sharing the 338 free car parking spaces at Brockhurst Gate Shopping Park with several established high-street names.
Alex Pattison, our new store manager, believes we’re in for a very warm welcome:
“I am very excited to be opening our new store in Gosport. The area has been eagerly awaiting an M&S, so it is very important for us to be a big part of the local community and to ensure we give everyone a special shopping experience.”
In fact, the only thing that’s missing to make this the perfect store is you. We have roles for Salesfloor Customer Assistants; Store Operations Customer Assistants; and In Store Bakery Assistants as well as in Fire, Health & Safety and Administration.
Choose from a range of shift patterns and work alongside people who pride themselves of their high standards. If you’re interested and would like further details or to apply, why not pay us a visit today at http://careers.marksandspencer.com/new-store-registrationInside M&S
Canvey Island: Say hello to Simply Food
Our Simply Food new store openings are continuing to gather pace. Next stop: Canvey Island. We’ll be calling this part of Essex home with this latest 7,400 square foot addition to our growing family. Located on the south east coast, Canvey’s 38,000 residents live about 20 minutes away from nearby Basildon and just 10 from neighbouring Southend.
The store will arrive around the same time as 290 extra free parking spaces are added to the 558 already on site. These will be shared with the other five retailers who are either already there or will be joining us shortly.
Canvey will boast a Click and Collect service, as well as a range of freshly prepared favourites, thanks to our instore Bakery. Claire Benson, the manager at the new store, can’t wait to welcome you there and says there’s some excitement about our arrival:
“Canvey is a fantastic location for our new M&S Simply Food store, and forms part of a growing Retail Park. You can access Canvey SF via Road, or Train into Canvey with a Bus route completing your journey. The surrounding community are eagerly awaiting our opening.”
There’s another reason to come and visit us too. We have roles available for Salesfloor Customer Assistants; Store Operations Customer Assistants and In Store Bakery Assistants, so if you’re looking for a new role, we’d love to hear from you. We have a range of shifts available and it’s easy to apply online by visiting HEREInside M&S
We can’t get enough of Worcester
Hopefully, the feeling is mutual as we’re soon to open a Simply Food format store there. This time we’re bringing 7,400 square foot of M&S special to the Blackpole Retail Park. With its own in store bakery and Click and Collect facility, our new site will complement our full line high street store which is already fully established in the town.
Our new home will see us join a host of retailers on the site, which has 439 free parking spaces for customers to take advantage of. But we’re not just offering an alternative place to pick up your M&S favourites. Perhaps you’d like to join us on the other side of the counter and take on a new role with us?
Andrew Ling, our new store manager, will give you a very warm welcome.
He had this to say about our arrival:
“Worcester Blackpole is a fantastic location for our new Simply Food store. I’m delighted to offer the Worcester customer the opportunity to shop our fantastic food range with the benefit of 400 plus car parking spaces on Blackpole Retail Park.”
We have roles available for Salesfloor Customer Assistants; Store Operations Customer Assistants; and In Store Bakery Assistants; as well as for a Fire, Health and Safety Officer and in Administration. There is a range of shift patterns available and it’s easy to apply. Simply pay us a visit at http://careers.marksandspencer.com/new-store-registrationInside M&S
Our newest arrival is due in Royston soon.
We can’t wait to get our latest new store opening up and running. You’ll find us just off York Way in the northern outskirts of the town at the Royston Gateway. The new store will feature familiar food favourites as well as an Instore Bakery, and Click and Collect.
The manager of our new store can’t wait to get things up and running:
“I am so excited to be opening our new store in Royston and I know M&S will be a fantastic addition to the town. We aim to give everyone a special shopping experience and are looking forward to working closely with the local community. We can’t wait to bring the M&S brand and our excellent food products to our new customers!”
If you’d like to join us in making this latest addition to our store family a success, there’s no shortage of ways to do so. We have roles available for Salesfloor Customer Assistants; Store Operations Customer Assistants; In Store Bakery Assistants and Section Co-ordinators, as well as in FHSO and Administration.
There is also a range of shift patterns available, so we should be able to find something that works for you. If you’re interested and would like further details or to apply, why not pay us a visit today at http://careers.marksandspencer.com/new-store-registrationInside M&S
THE CHRISTMAS BUZZ AT M&S
Nicola hadn’t worked in retail before she joined M&S and didn’t really know what to expect. But it turned out to be “one of the best decisions I ever made”. As a Customer Assistant in Womenswear at our Middlesbrough store, Nicola was made to feel welcome from day one. Now she loves helping our customers, working with colleagues in a warm, friendly and respectful culture and giving her best.
Especially at Christmas, when the store truly comes alive. “My first Christmas with M&S will always stick in the memory. It was extremely busy but that made it all the more enjoyable, and it was amazing how dramatically the store layout and backstage areas changed to make space for all the festive lines. It was like a completely different store,” she remembers.
It wasn’t a one-off, either. “There’s a magical atmosphere in store over Christmas every year, a real buzz that’s shared by customers and colleagues. Everyone is so productive, and there’s a lot of satisfaction in a job well done” she says. “The store’s footfall changes during the festive period and last year in particular my knowledge of Gift Shop products grew massively, which enabled me to answer all the questions customers threw at me. One thing I’ve learned is that it takes a lot of effort and preparation to get ready for our peak time of year.”
That’s not the only thing Nicola has learned during her time with M&S. She has completed a Retail Apprenticeship and this has given her a great insight into how we produce and dress our products. “I’ve been able to see just how much goes into making sure our products are of the highest quality,” she says. “We’re a team of perfectionists – did you know that our melt-in-the-middle chocolate pudding took 18 months to develop?”
Nicola loves her job – and she loves her 20% staff discount. “Now I know our product ranges, there are things I simply wouldn’t buy anywhere else. I’m going to need a new coat for this winter and I’ve already spotted the one I want on our shop floor!”Find out more about our Christmas job opportunities here.
If you’re looking for the quintessential English holiday resort, you’ll find it in Walton-on-the Naze, nestling on the North Sea coast in Essex.
It’s a small, quiet, beautifully kept town in the Tendring part of the county, close to Frinton-on-Sea. There’s a lovely sandy beach here that attracts holidaymakers in their droves. It has its own pier and, along the coast, there are many fossils to be found and rocks that date back 50 million years.
And, very soon, Walton-on-the-Naze will have its own M&S Simply Foods. What a great place to build a retail career!
Our new store will occupy 9,000 sq. ft. of space on the site of an old caravan park. It will stock the full range of scrumptious M&S food, there will be an In-Store Bakery and we’ll also be offering a Click & Collect service, which means customers will be able to pick up our fantastic fashions as well as food.
We’re the first ‘big’ store to move into the town, which is great news for the people of Walton on-the-Naze and Frinton-on-Sea as well as visitors to the area. Nothing’s better than an M&S snack while taking in the sun on a beach!
But it could also be great news if you’re looking to develop a career in retail. Our new Walton-on-the-Naze store will need a whole host of people including:
Sales Floor Customer Assistants
Store Operations Customer Assistants
In-Store Bakery Assistants
Fire, Health & Safety Officer
There is a variety of shifts available, both full and part time, so there’s every chance we’ll have something that suits you. Walton-on-the-Naze has its own railway station and there will also be good bus links to our new store.
Lisa will be the new Store Manager and can’t wait for the doors to open:
“M&S will be a great addition to the town. Local people, holidaymakers, day-trippers – we aim to give everyone a special shopping experience by combining a great selection of products with the renowned M&S service. Come and be part of an exciting team and make it happen!”
Interested? Apply at https://jobs.marksandspencer.com/Inside M&S
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