British retailer, Marks & Spencer (M&S) today announces that it will return to the Netherlands with a combined e-commerce and stores ‘clicks & bricks' strategy, in line with its ongoing business plan to become a leading international, multi-channel retailer.
The move replicates M&S's successful return to France in 2011 with a ‘clicks & bricks' strategy which will also see three new full-line stores open in Paris this financial year. Following the launch of its dedicated Belgian website in November 2012, M&S also plans to open a flagship store at Toison D'Or, Brussels in 2015. Additionally, M&S is today launching a dedicated website for customers in Luxemburg.
The approach will see M&S offer the very latest in online and offline shopping experiences to customers across the Netherlands. M&S's strategy for the Netherlands comprises:
- A brand new Dutch website serving customers right across the country that launches tomorrow (17 April) – in Dutch, priced in Euros and with local delivery and payment options;
- A complementary mobile optimised site that also launches tomorrow;
- A world class multi-channel M&S store located on the Kalverstraat in the heart of Amsterdam's shopping district. Showcasing the future of retail with cutting-edge world first technology to improve and enhance the customer experience, the store will open at 11:30am tomorrow morning. Alongside M&S's outstanding quality food, customers will be able to browse and buy the latest London style from M&S's new E-boutique which features a truly unique Virtual Rail;
- A new agreement with BP to open six M&S Simply Food pilots at BP forecourts at key locations in Randstad – with the first store opening in Utrecht in September 2013;
- The opening of two full-line M&S stores at De Markies in The Hague in spring 2014 and a flagship store at The Rokin in Amsterdam by autumn 2015 – both offering a full clothing, homeware and food offer.
Speaking from Amsterdam, Marc Bolland, Chief Executive of Marks & Spencer, said: “We're extremely happy to be coming back to Holland in response to huge customer demand. We're coming back in a new way because Holland is one of the most internet savvy countries in Europe. We are therefore launching our new website – http://www.marksandspencer.nl/ – and a brand new e-Boutique as a first step towards rolling out a number of stores in the Netherlands.”
Full multi-channel offer
M&S's ‘clicks & bricks' strategy for the Netherlands is truly multi-channel, combining online and in-store shopping, in response to the changing way that consumers shop today.
Dutch website and mobile optimised site
Underpinning the multi-channel offer is its new localised website and new mobile optimised site – in Dutch, priced in Euros and providing opportunities to serve customers across the whole country.
M&S's international delivery service, which sees products delivered to around 80 countries via its UK website, has proven that there is a high demand from customers for M&S products in the Netherlands which is one of the top performing markets. The new online and mobile sites will enhance the customer experience and help to build M&S's presence.
With local payment and delivery options, http://www.marksandspencer.nl/, will provide customers throughout the Netherlands with access to an extensive range of over 15,000 stylish, high quality M&S products across womenswear, lingerie, menswear and kidswear, as well as a selection of homeware.
M&S will also open a brand new concept store featuring its latest cutting-edge digital innovations at 226 Kalverstraat tomorrow. The new 500 square metre store creates a unique and inspiring shopping environment, where customers can ‘shop to order' via the world's first Virtual Rail which seamlessly integrates digital rails with physical rails of clothing samples. Customers can place orders for free to delivery to the store through: in-store order points; dedicated style advisors equipped with iPads; by mobile using the store's free wifi; or online using on their own computers.
Customers can also ‘shop to go' that day. The store offers a specially chosen edit of the latest womenswear trends, selected with the style loving, fashion focussed Amsterdam customer in mind.
The store boasts a convenience range of 1,400 high quality, innovative food lines including sandwiches, salads, wines as well as some of the most popular M&S chilled prepared meals and groceries including Earl Grey tea and crumpets.
Laura Wade-Gery, Executive Director E-commerce Multi-channel at Marks & Spencer said: “The Netherlands has embraced online shopping – customers adore the ease and convenience of buying clothes this way, which is why we were determined to return with our very latest multi-channel thinking.
“The E-boutique that we are launching tomorrow demonstrates just that – it's innovative, aspirational and allows us to offer our latest fashion collections from a much smaller footprint. It also complements our new web and mobile sites to bring a truly unique retail experience to the M&S customer here in the Netherlands.”
In line with M&S's international strategy the retailer is applying a mixed ownership model as it builds its presence across the Netherlands.
M&S Simply Food pilots at BP forecourts
This September will see the opening of M&S's first international M&S Simply Food pilot at a BP forecourt in Utrecht. This will be followed by the roll out of a further five pilots at key locations in and around Amsterdam, The Hague and Utrecht by November 2013 with the potential for further expansion into additional BP forecourts in the future.
The new stores will offer customers convenient access to a range of up to 700 high quality, innovative M&S fresh food products, including ready meals, fresh produce, sandwiches, flowers and basic groceries.
Hendrik Muilerman, Managing Director of BP Netherlands, said: “Marks & Spencer is a quality food retailer with an outstanding reputation for fresh and speciality products. With the M&S Simply Food pilots at our forecourts, we positively distinguish ourselves on the Dutch retail market. BP offers an extensive assortment of convenience products and fresh food at highly accessible sites for customers on the road and at home, at easily accessible locations with convenient opening hours. This approach forms part of BP's European retail strategy, in which our forecourts fulfill an important role for daily convenience for our customers.”
The new agreement is part of M&S's plans to open franchise M&S Simply Food stores in Western Europe and builds on the successful UK partnership between M&S and BP which launched in 2005. There are now over 160 M&S Simply Food stores at BP forecourts throughout the UK which M&S and BP will continue to strengthen and grow over the next few years.
M&S has also unveiled plans to open two full-line stores in the Netherlands which will showcase the very best that M&S has to offer over the next couple of years:
De Markies, The Hague – Located on the corner of the Wagenstraat and Grote Markstraat, the completely modernised development will include a 4,800 square metre M&S store opening in spring 2014;
The Rokin, Amsterdam – Due to open in autumn 2015, the 6,100 square metre flagship store at the centre of the capital will be one of M&S's largest international stores.
Customers will be able to shop M&S's extensive offer of stylish fashions for the whole family, as well as home products. Each store will also feature M&S's unrivalled Foodhall, with a wide range of its popular quality food products, as well as an in-store bakery and M&S Café.
The new stores in the Netherlands will complement M&S' growing international store presence, with over 410 stores in 48 territories across Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
- Ends -
For further information, please contact:
M&S Corporate Press Office
+44 (0) 208 718 1919
Jacoline Poldervaart, BP Netherlands, Manager Communications & External Affairs
+31 (0)6 – 531 65 446
Justine van Buttingha Wichers, Citigate Netherlands
+ 31 (0)20 575 4022 firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors:
About M&S Kalverstraat
Kalverstraat 226, 1012 XJ, Amsterdam
Store trading hours
Monday – Wednesday & Friday – Saturday 09:00 – 19:00
Thursday 09:00 – 21:00
Sunday 12:00 – 18:00
- The E-boutique technology includes:
- Two virtual rails – made of three stacked 46” screens and three physical rails each with 50 clothing samples, each trend updated every six weeks
- Two Order Points
- Three dedicated style advisors equipped with iPads
- Two signage screens –made of three stacked 46” screens
- Two pillar inspiration screens – these are made of two stacked 46” screens
- The E-boutique concept builds on M&S's successful in-store multi-channel innovations including:
- 156 browse & order points across 63 stores - in-store orders have increased by 10% on last year;
- 191 inspiration screens across 110 stores;
- Over 1,500 customer assistants equipped with iPads across its UK stores;
- M&S's Shop Your Way service which is now offered at 468 UK stores has seen 40% of online sales
- Customers can sign up for the M&S Newsletter at http://www.marksandspencer.nl/ to receive a special discount of 20% off their first purchase on the new website.
- Customers will be able to pay in Euros by Visa or Mastercard and iDEAL, all payment is fully secure.
- The website offers free standard local delivery for all orders at €49 or above, €4.95 for orders under €49 – taking 3 -5 working days.
- Marks & Spencer will also launch a new facebook page for the Netherlands to give fans updates on fashion and food, exclusive deals, and competitions, at:www.facebook.com/marksandspencernetherlands
- The move marks further progress against plans outlined in May 2012 to trade online in ten international markets this year and follows the successful launch of websites in France, Ireland, Germany, Spain, Austria, Belgium and China via the country's leading retail website, TMall. M&S will also launch its new dedicated local website for Luxembourg tomorrow.
About Marks & Spencer
- Marks & Spencer is one of the UK's leading retailers. M&S sells high quality, great value clothing and home products as well as outstanding quality food. 20 million customers visit its stores each week and has over 81,000 employees across the globe.
- M&S was founded over 128 years ago and currently has over 760 UK stores and over 410 international stores across Europe, the Middle East and Asia. · For more information please visit http://corporate.marksandspencer.com/
About Marks & Spencer and BP
- Marks & Spencer and BP have been working together for the last nine years to deliver high quality M&S food, supported by excellent customer service, in BP forecourts across the UK.
- There are now over 160 M&S Simply Food stores at BP forecourts in the UK.
- BP is of one of the world's leading international oil and gas companies. We operate or market our products in more than 80 countries, employ over 85,000 people and provide our customers with fuel for transportation, energy for heating and light, retail services and petrochemicals products for everyday items.
- Our interests and activities are covered in two business segments: Exploration and Production, and Refining and Marketing.
- Exploration and Production's activities include oil and natural gas exploration; field development and production; hydrocarbon transportation, storage and processing; and the marketing and trading of natural gas including liquefied natural gas (LNG). Refining and Marketing's activities involve the supply and trading, refining, manufacturing, marketing and transportation of crude oil, petroleum and petrochemicals products. Our activities in low-carbon energy, primarily focussed on biofuels, are managed through our Alternative Energy business.
- We employ over 14,000 people worldwide working in retail sites. There are 21,000 BP branded sites worldwide.
- In the Netherlands, the 2,200 BP people are primarily engaged in Refining and Marketing activities. Our customers can be found in almost all segments, varying from aviation and shipping to agriculture and the large industrial companies. With 385 retail sites, BP is one of the larger players on the Dutch fuels market.
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