What can be said about Marks & Spencer that hasn't already been said? Just this - Boycott them, here's why.
Marks & Spencer may have had humble origins on a market stall in Leeds but they have changed beyond all recognition since then. Marks & Spencer is the largest clothing retailer in the United Kingdom, as well as being a food retailer, and as of 2008, the 43rd largest retailer in the world. M&S have over 600 stores throughout the United Kingdom and over 300 stores in over 40 other countries.
Since Sunday opening became legal the trip to M&S has replaced organised religion in some of our more well-heeled suburbs.
Sir Stuart Rose is the Chairman of M&S and an experienced boardroom player. He joined M&S as a trainee manager in 1972 and stayed there until 1989. He returned to M&S in 2004 as Chief Executive. During his interval away he had been Chief Executive of Burtons, Argos, Booker and Arcadia Group. This period seems to have been dominated by mergers and acquisitions. Reputedly the deal Rose made when he sold Arcadia netted a cool £25M for him personally. He was knighted in 2008 for services to retailing. He plans to step down from M&S in 2011.
On 18th October Sir Stuart Rose signed an open letter calling on the Chancellor to continue the coalition government's plans to reduce the public finance deficit in one term, plans which included swingeing cuts on the poorest members of society and which risk pushing this country into a double-dip recession, the likes of which has not been seen since the last time the tories took power and tanked the economy in the early 80's.
For this reason Sir Stuart is considered a fully signed up member of the Big Business Society and we urge people to boycott Marks & Spencer.
Suggesting alternatives for Marks & Spencer is likely to spark a negative response from their incredibly loyal customers but there are other supermarkers and clothes shops that are just as good and which do not support actions which could throw this country into recession. While the credit crunch was a world wide problem, remember what we are facing is not just a recession, this is a British-made, corporate promoted coalition gamble, with added unemployment and reduced hope for the future, double-dip recession.
UPDATE: There is a comment posted below from 'Anonymous' which calls attention to the leasing of a Marks & Spencer owned property to the 'Hooters' restaurant chain.
This has been confirmed by the Daily Telegraph and the restaurant is in Bristol. Hooters is not a well known brand in the UK but in the US it is known mainly for the skimpy outfits worn by its all-female serving staff, referred to 'Hooters Girls'. After a quick image search it is clear that the clothing may be suitable for Southern California in summer, but is not very practical for the West Country in December. Practicality is of course the least of Hooters concerns.
Quite what M&S's female clientelle would make of such a business relationship should they be aware of it I dread to imagine.