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Yesterday I wrote to over 6million of our most loyal customers to re-affirm M&S’ commitment to trusted value. That means giving customers confidence in a great everyday price but more importantly, reassuring them that we will never compromise on the quality and standards they expect. 

That promise is part of M&S’s DNA; our founders’ early ‘don’t ask the price it’s a penny’ slogan, guaranteed no tricksy pricing, but they also understood that real value comes from building long-term trusted supplier partnerships, where you can invest and innovate together to deliver better quality products. 

When I joined M&S in 2018, I was clear that to broaden the appeal of our Food business we needed to protect that magic our customers love about us, whilst modernising the rest – including our value position. That’s why over the past three years, we have invested over £100 million in sharpening our value. At the same time, we were preparing to take our full food range online for the first time with Ocado, and closely reviewed our ranges adding more than 700 lines to ensure gaps were filled and customers could find more relevant product for families – with bigger pack sizes and a better selection of grocery staples. 

Through the launch of Remarksable Value in late 2019 we put a spotlight on our great everyday prices and set out to bust the myth on M&S pricing, where the perception was often higher than reality. It has been working, and customer perception is stronger than ever, but with value front of mind for everyone, we know now is the time to go further.

From today, we are reducing prices within our Remarksable ranges and focusing on the products our customers shop most frequently. That means reductions on key every everyday staples - including bread, milk, beef mince, and many of our delicious fresh fruit and vegetables – all benchmarked against our key competitors. 

But to qualify as Remarksable value – all of these products need to retain the M&S quality point of difference – whether that’s the added Vitamin D in our Super Soft loaves or the RSPCA assurance that comes with 100% British Milk. 

That quality is part of the ‘magic’ we must protect and, as we transform our value, it will not come at the cost of these standards or our suppliers who uphold them. We only work with farmers we know and trust – and that partnership is cemented through our Select Farm programme with over 8,000 farms that work tirelessly to safeguard our leading animal welfare and environmental standards. 

I’m proud to say we have more RSPCA Assured products than any other national retailer and we are the only one that can promise DNA traceable 100% British beef, meaning whether it’s in a prepared meal, a sandwich or a prime cut –we can trace it all the way back to every farm and animal from which it is sourced. 

It is the fair price we guarantee our Select Farm partners that helps give them the confidence to invest in these standards. It has been, and continues to be, an incredibly challenging time for British farming and whilst we lower our prices, it will not be to the detriment of the welfare of animals or our farmers. 

We are standing by our British sourcing commitments and the promises we have made, for example, in 1999, we introduced the M&S Milk Pledge, guaranteeing the farmers in our dedicated milk pool that we would pay a transparent and leading price to give them a secure income and the ability to invest in their business for generations to come. 

Getting the combination of value and quality right, has been a winning formula throughout our history, especially when it is designed to meet a specific customer need. We did just that in 2008, amidst the credit crunch, when we launched our Dine In for Two, so that customers could enjoy a restaurant quality experience at home. Since then, we’ve sold around 200 million Dine In deals, and now, we want to bring that same incredible value to families – permanently! 

Over the last 12 months we have been trialling different Family Dine In options and we are now launching it as a permanent always-on offer. Post pandemic, we know more families are eating together regularly and really value that quality time, and now there will always be something for a family of four to discover with changing global-inspired cuisine menus and providing amazing value alongside our original Dine In and our upcoming new Pizza Dine In Deal.

The trust our customers have in us, and our products, is something we never take for granted and that’s why we continue to innovate and invest, so we can continue to stay true to the promise our founders set out to deliver over 138 years ago.