by Josh Barrie
Marks & Spencer, which has for decades positioned itself at the top-end of high street food retail, is to launch ‘Re-Marks-able’ – a new range which will shine a light on its new value offers.
The move follows price drops across more than 500 lines at M&S Food, with reductions on sliced milk, eggs, pasta, and salmon fillets.
While foods included in the Re-Marks-able range won’t be branded separately, M&S is to launch social media campaigns, new ticketing, and will create new sections in stores dedicated to its “value” offers.
From 13 November, M&S customers more accustomed to spending big on pork crackling crisps, edamame beans and posh prawn sandwiches will be also able to get more affordable groceries.
Few would have predicted the retailer would sell loaves of bread for 65p (down from £1.15), or a medium chicken for £3.50 (down from £4.50).
M&S said while it cuts prices, effectively bringing a number of products more in line with the mid-market, Re-Marks-able has not sacrificed on “unrivalled quality and sourcing standards”.
And yet in the same announcement, the supermarket said the launch comes as part of a “far-reaching transformation plan that aims to broaden its appeal to more families across the UK.”
“Re-Marks-able is part of our plan to debunk the myths about our prices, as we know customers’ perception doesn’t always match the reality,” said Stuart Machin, managing director of M&S Food.
“M&S Food is changing fast and our value is increasingly competitive, especially on the everyday products families shop most often.”
While M&S has brought prices down, shoppers should still expect to pay more than at alternative supermarkets, bar Waitrose.
How does M&S compare?
- Salmon: M&S £4; Waitrose £5.99; Tesco £3.85; Aldi £2.85
- White bread: M&S 65p; Waitrose 59p; Tesco 55p; Aldi 36p
- Apples multipack: M&S £1.50; Waitrose £1.50; Tesco 79p; Aldi no info
- Six eggs: M&S 90p; Waitrose £1; Tesco 84p; Aldi 75p
- Pasta 500g: M&S £1.50; Waitrose £1.70; Tesco 53p; Aldi 45p
- Whole medium chicken: M&S £3.50; Waitrose £4.10; Tesco £2.95; Aldi £1.87
- Four pints of milk: M&S £1.15; Waitrose £1.35; Tesco £1.09; Aldi £1.09
While M&S remains upmarket in pricing, the supermarket has long argued that its food is to a better standard.
A spokesman said to i that “this is not about us simply lowering our prices – it’s about highlighting the value you get for M&S quality”.
In a statement, the company said it has invested some £100m in bringing prices lower, offsetting costs by removing “complex and confusing promotions”, as well as how it buys goods. It may be that M&S will buy its Re-Marks-able products in greater bulk.
Either way, M&S made it clear that tackling customer perceptions on prices is key to growing market share – and that’s what the new launch is designed to do.
Prices were those available on supermarket websites on 12 November 2019
This article originally appeared on our sister site, inews