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Marks & Spencer reveals need for supply chain upgrades

Marks and Spencer Group has revealed the latest changes to its supply chain infrastructure in its full-year financial results published yesterday, admitting that it needed to do more to gain market advantage.

The company is in the midst of the first phase of its transformation plan but admitted that accelerated change is the only option to remain competitive.

It said that its supply chains in clothing and home, as well as food, require significant upgrades to allow it to be faster to market, reduce high stock levels in clothing, as well as improve availability and waste in food.

Distribution and warehousing costs for the business were £538 million for the year ended 31 March 2018, up by 3.5% on last year and driven largely by inflation volume and the costs of channel shift the company said.

Marks & Spencer admitted its online capability was behind the best of its competitors and said that its Castle Donington fulfilment centre had also struggled to cope with peak demand. It said it was investing to increase and improve its ecommerce capacity – including at the Castle Donington site – as it looked to double its online share of clothing and home sales to more than 33%. The company is also building a new retail distribution centre at Welham Green and has established teams to address the supply chain weaknesses in both main businesses.

Image credit: Marks & Spencer