About us

Our history

Travel back in time and discover some of the interesting facts that have helped to make us who we are today. Our company values of Quality, Value, Service, Innovation and Trust are not new – they are the principles on which our business was founded. Look through our Timeline and find out where they fit in, or visit Marks in Time, our specially created online experience.

Explore the TimelineMarks in Time

>> Explore the timeline                                                            >> Visit the Marks in Time exhibition

Kirkgate Market

Marks & Spencer is going back to its roots and opening a stall in the place where the famous brand first started at Kirkgate Market, Leeds, in 1884. In March 2013 Marks & Spencer will open a heritage and coffee shop right beside the famous M&S clock in the 1904 building of Kirkgate Market - click here to find out more.

Company Archive

Based in Leeds, the M&S Company Archive is a vital business asset which acts to collect, preserve and utilise material relating to all aspect of the history and development of the company. The Company Archive contains a range of materials from the last 128 years including written records, staff publications, photographs and films, garments and household products, design and advertising material - find out more about our collection.

The Company Archive now boasts a public-facing exhibition area which celebrates the story of M&S and showcases historical and current star products to the general public. We also offer a Reading Room service for those wishing to consult particular items from the collection in more detail which will be supported by an online catalogue to support remote research and access to the collection. Opened to the public for the first time on 16 March 2012, we offer a wide range of activities and events tailored to schools, families and adult learners to engage the public with the collection and with M&S.

Downloads and Links

  • To download pictures of the M&S Company Archive Collection from our media library, please click here
  • For more information on the history of M&S please click here
  • For more information on Company Archive events please click here
  • Click here to read the opening day press release


Behind the Scenes

 Watch our Behind the Scenes film

Our unique partnership with the University of Leeds has opened up opportunities for joint activity across multiple channels, including mutual priority areas such as; research, student engagement and community outreach work. It provides a unique opportunity for us to engage with children and young people of the future particularly through industry projects which develop students’ skills and experience, enhancing their career potential and helping to build the workforce of the future.

An example of our partnership in action, this short film has been produced by students at the University of Leeds and offers a look behind the scenes at our dynamic Company Archive during its first year since opening.  The film highlights the different ways the business can make use of our rich heritage as well as showcasing our public engagement programme such as our schools offer and community outreach work.  The team at the M&S Company Archive worked closely with the students to script, film and produce the footage, providing them with a fantastic opportunity to enhance their skills and experience through our partnership.

Contact our Company Archive Team

If you have an enquiry about the history of M&S, our Archive team will be happy to help you.

By Email: company.archive@marks-and-spencer.com

By phone: 0208 718 2800

By post:

M&S Company Archive
Michael Marks Building
Western Campus
University of Leeds

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