M&S plots eCRM turnaround blitz

Marks & Spencer is attempting to boost customer engagement over digital channels by appointing Underwired to spearhead its eCRM strategy, as part of a shake-up initiated by boss Marc Bolland.
The retailer, which last week revealed a 9.6% dip in profits, is pressing ahead with a £2.4bn plan to modernise M&S into an international multi-channel retailer.
This plan includes a substantial investment in a new website and ecommerce technology, as well as opening new shops abroad, including in Paris.
It is the brainchild of chief executive Bolland, who joined M&S in 2010. At the results announcement last week – in which it reported profits of £290m in the six months to September 29 – he said: “Eighteen months in, we are making strong progress with our plan to transform M&S. Our new International stores are performing well, and our multi-channel business is delivering strong growth.”
Underwired, which specialises in digital customer engagement, will work closely with M&S’ eCRM team. The work will cover strategic briefs as well as creative optimisation.
Felix Velarde, managing director of Underwired, commented: “M&S is arguably Britain’s best loved retail brand, and it is a great privilege to be working alongside their team creating headroom and adding bottom-line value.”
Established in 1996 and independent following an MBO in April, Underwired’s other retail clients include F Hinds, Mitchells & Butlers and Harveys Furniture.

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