Marks and Spencer looks to improve deliveries and returns

In its full year financial results, fashion and food chain Marks and Spencer has said that around 11% of its online orders were delivered through in-store fulfilment. The omnichannel giant says that when in-store fulfilment is done there is around a 90% customer availability as opposed to 75% through the online distribution centre.

Marks and Spencer also say that its online fulfilment centre at Castle Donington has doubled its output. Even while this has been a success, the retailer says that it has much to do to improve its fulfilment processes. It plans to invest heavily in this area in the coming years.

One weakness identified by the UK omnichannel retailer is the returns process. This needs to improve as it is currently ‘slow and cumbersome’ with excess handling costs and margin loss. Some returns will now be prepared for resale in the store of return or a nearby store. It is also rolling out paper-free returns.

Steve Rowe, CEO of Marks and Spencer said, ”When I took over the reins at M&S six years ago, I committed to tackling the underlying issues that had eroded the strength of the business and building the foundations for future growth. For me, what is important about these results is not just the restoration of profit and strong cash flow; it is that they demonstrate that M&S has fundamentally changed. While there is much more to do, the business has moved beyond proving its relevance and has the opportunity for substantial future growth”

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