Marks & Spencer is known for selling high-quality food at a premium. But does it deserve its reputation on either front?
M&S began life as a market stall in Leeds in 1884 and today has more than 1,000 stores in the UK.
These range from large M&S stores selling a wide range of clothing and homeware, to smaller Simply Food stores, which primarily sell food.
M&S is set to start selling groceries online via Ocado from September 2020 and, perhaps in preparation for that, the retailer has begun lowering prices on some of its everyday food and drink products.
But what do its customers think about the value for money Marks & Spencer offers, and how does this compare with other supermarkets?
In the annual Which? supermarkets survey, more than 3,200 M&S grocery customers rated the retailer on everything from queuing time to the quality of its food and value for money. This enabled us to work out star ratings for different categories, as well as an overall customer score.
As well as accessing the supermarket scores, logging in or joining Which? will enable you to see how M&S fared when we reviewed items including champagne, cheese, and cleaning products, such as washing-up liquid and dishwasher tablets.
M&S plans to close 100 of its larger stores by 2022. The retailer wants to move a third of its clothing and home sales online and plans to have fewer, larger clothing and homeware stores in better locations.
M&S has been focusing on broadening its appeal, trying to be less aspirational and more attractive to families. And it appears to be working: its half-year results released in November 2019 showed food sales had risen for the first time in two years.
Online is the next frontier for M&S food, having paid £750m for half of Ocado’s UK retail business in a new joint venture which will give M&S groceries an online presence for the first time.
You'll be able to buy M&S food and drink from Ocado from 1 September 2020.