Marks & Spencer is making use of new tools to help remove excess stock trapped in stores where it does not sell, and holding it centrally, improving availability and making stores easier to shop.
The programme, named Fuse, is being used in both the Food and Clothing and Home. The retailer said in its annual results: “Our food waste levels remain among the highest in the industry and availability has not significantly improved. However, process changes in trial stores known as Project Fuse are illustrating the very significant financial opportunity in these areas.
“Similarly, an improved working relationship with GIST, our logistics partner, has demonstrated the substantial opportunity in modernising and better integrating the supply chain.”
In Clothing and Home, as well implementing the Fuse programme, M&S is reducing
The complexity of its logistics network. It has closed four distribution centres and warehouses and opening a national distribution centre in Welham Green, which is now ramping up its boxed storage capacity.
“We are still at the early stages of modernising our supply chain network, technology and process and this remains a priority.”
M&S saw revenue fall three per cent to £10.4 billion in the year to 30th March. Profit before tax and adjusting items was down 9.9 per cent at £523.2m.
Chief executive Steve Rowe said: “We are deep into the first phase of our transformation programme and continue to make good progress restoring the basics and fixing many of the legacy issues we face.
“While there are green shoots, we have not been consistent in our delivery in a number of areas of the business. M&S is changing faster than at any time in my career – substantial changes across the business to our processes, ranges and operations and this has constrained this year’s performance, particularly in Clothing & Home. However, we remain on track with our transformation and are now well on the road to making M&S special again.”