M&S AND OCTOPUS TO TRANSFORM ENERGY MARKET FOR THOUSANDS OF CUSTOMERS WITH NEW STRATEGIC DEAL
Today, M&S and Octopus announce a new strategic partnership to supply energy and services under the M&S Energy brand from September 2018.
The new partnership between energy industry disruptor Octopus and M&S is designed to create a more progressive, digital and commercial M&S Energy that will deliver growth to the M&S brand at a time of critical transformation.
The collaboration will see M&S Energy launch a compelling and competitive customer proposition to challenge the ‘Big 6’ and disrupt the traditional energy market, starting with a rebuttal of traditional but punitive ‘tease and squeeze’ pricing policies*. Together under the M&S Energy brand, M&S and Octopus will launch a responsible and transparent price model that puts customers firmly in the know, and in control.
Octopus’s proprietary, innovative and highly flexible cloud-based billing and customer platform has revolutionised customer experience in the energy industry over just two years. Their digital-first approach to billing and customer service will create a seamless experience for M&S Energy customers, giving them direct control over their account – an offer not currently provided by any of the ‘Big 6’ suppliers.
The partnership will build on M&S’s reputation for best in class customer service while developing the brand’s digital offer. Despite impressive recent growth, Octopus has steadfastly scaled its ‘customer at the heart’ approach to customer service - maintaining a 5* TrustPilot ranking with 9.5 out of 10 and being uSwitch’s top-ranking energy supplier in 2018. Its digital expertise and flexible team structures will deliver exceptional and extensive customer service to M&S Energy customers across all channels.
Jonathan Hazeldine, Head of M&S Energy, said: “As we continue to transform M&S we have chosen Octopus as a new strategic partner for M&S Energy. Octopus’ values of responsible and transparent pricing and digital-first customer service mirror our ambitions for the business. Together, we can challenge the traditional energy market and bring green energy to millions of households at a competitive and fair price. We believe they are the best partner to help transform and grow M&S Energy into a digital, progressive and commercially competitive arm of M&S.”
Octopus is also a committed green energy partner and the UK's largest investor in solar farms. The opportunity to leverage M&S’s broad customer base to bring green energy to more UK households is a significant prospect for the brand partnership. M&S Energy will offer 100% green energy to customers, in line with M&S’s Plan A environmental and sustainability plan.
Greg Jackson, CEO Octopus Energy, said: “I’m thrilled. M&S’s choice of Octopus for this vital service is a great vote of confidence in our vision for energy. Fair pricing without annual switching, renewable electricity and incredible customer service. M&S will be using the digital technology we’ve built, enabling dramatically better customer experience online, and helping drive the M&S digitisation strategy.”
The new partnership with Which?'s only recommended energy supplier is part of M&S’s five-year transformation plan and will replace the contract previously held by SSE. Launching on 29 September, customers can pre-register now on newmandsenergy.info to switch automatically.
Ten years on from the creation of M&S Energy, energy remains an attractive and natural market for M&S, complementing M&S’s growing home and M&S Bank businesses, which saw the launch of M&S’s first ever mortgage range this year.
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Notes to Editors:
*where new customers receive cheaper rates, subsidised by those loyal to the brands
M&S launched M&S Energy in 2008, working with SSE. We conducted an extensive tender process in 2017 for the M&S Energy supply which included SSE. On 05 July 2018 SSE and M&S released a joint statement declaring the decision to end their partnership.
SSE & M&S Joint Statement:
“After nine years, SSE and M&S have taken the decision to end their relationship. SSE and M&S have achieved a lot as partners, supplying 100% green energy and supporting over 70 community energy projects under the M&S Energy brand.
M&S Energy customers will continue to be supplied by SSE, with no interruption to their supply following this announcement. We will be writing to customers shortly to let them know about all the options available to them when the contract comes to an end in September 2018. SSE and M&S will work to ensure all communications are clear and transparent for customers.”
Making M&S Special
In November 2017 Marks & Spencer set out a five year transformation programme for the business concentrating on Restoring the Basics, Shaping the Future and Making M&S Special.
Under this transformation programme, Making M&S Special, M&S has to date announced:
- A slowdown in the Simply Food store opening programme
- An acceleration of the UK store estate closure programme
- The sale and franchise of its retail business in Hong Kong and Macau
- A new Technology Transformation Programme
- Improvements to its Clothing & Home Logistics Network
- The restructure of the Customer, Marketing & Digital Team
- New customer insight partnership with Starcount
- The appointment of a new Food Managing Director
- The merging of its Retail & Property functions
- A New leadership team responsible for overhauling Clothing & Home business
- The announcement of the start of a programme to create a family of businesses under the M&S brand
- The appointment of two new Non-Executive Directors to its Board
- The announcement of a strategic partnership with Microsoft
About Octopus Energy
Customer-led British brand Octopus Energy launched to the public in April 2016 and more than 200,000 households have signed up in just 2 years. It champions fair pricing, digitally led customer service and renewably sourced energy and is the only energy supplier recommended by consumer champion Which? In 2018. It is also rated 5-star on Trustpilot, and uSwitch’s ‘Supplier of the Year’, according to a survey of 17,000 consumers.
Our battle against anti-consumer ‘tease and squeeze’ pricing models in the energy industry has reached government and been mentioned 4 times in Parliamentary debate.
Octopus Energy was founded by a team of technology entrepreneurs and is backed by Octopus Capital, which has invested £2billion in UK renewable generation, and whose Ventures arm has backed UK success stories like Zoopla, LoveFilm, Graze, Secret Escapes and SwiftKey.
For further information, please contact:
Corporate Press Office: +44 (0)20 8718 1919