M&S ploughs £100m into website

Retail giant Marks & Spencer is overhauling its online service by spending £100m to bring the operation in-house as part of plans to gain greater control of – and speed up changes to – its website.
As part of the move, M&S will ditch its reliance on Amazon – which currently hosts the site – as it now views the company as a rival.
When new online products – or even small changes – are required on the site, the process is currently delayed because Amazon is slower to implement the request than the business would like.
Marks & Spencer chief information officer Darrell Stein said: “We went live with Amazon in 2007. Our site is a veneer on top of the Amazon code. The site has helped to grow our business, but it’s not great for innovation.
“Amazon is a competitor of ours. So when all the technology you’re basing your business on is owned by the competition, you’re not in a very sound position strategically.
“We want to drum the costs down as far as possible, and as a growing business with increasing sales, we expect to see economies of scale,” added Stein. “You don’t necessarily get that when you outsource.”
Although the move in-house will save operating expenditure, it will involve a capital outlay of more than £100m.
“The answer to how much will we save depends on how much we sell,” said Stein.

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