Marks and Spencer to ‘take tips from supermarkets’ with huge changes as stores reopen

Marks and Spencer recently reopened nearly 50 M&S Cafés for takeaway across the country. However, the retailer could make a huge change to how customers shop in stores following an announcement from bosses. What will change?

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Like many retailers, Marks and Spencer temporarily closed its doors two months ago as the coronavirus lockdown began.

Last week, the company reopened 49 M&S Cafés across the country which can be used for takeaways.

Other retailers have been preparing to open when it is deemed safe to do so by the government, which could be as soon as June.

If this were to happen, M&S could soon start opening retail stores as well.

However, it is likely that there will be huge changes to shopping when stores reopen, according to a statement by Marks and Spencer CEO Steve Rowe.

He said: “Whilst some customer habits will return to normal, others have changed forever, the trend towards digital has been accelerated, and changes to the shape of the high street brought forward.

“Most importantly, working habits have been transformed and we have discovered we can work in a faster, leaner, more effective way.

“I am determined to act now to capture this and deliver a renewed, more agile business in a world that will never be the same again.”

When retail stores do start to open again, there could be huge changes in the way that customers shop.

The M&S boss explained there could be a bigger drive towards shopping online.

With many Britons currently working from home, the retailer added that customers have been online shopping earlier in the day.

Many customers are browsing online between 3pm and 5pm which could continue and cause footfall to go down.

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In order to keep up with new customer demands, shops could make huge changes to respond to this, according to founder of retail shopping app Ubamarket Will Broome.

He explained: “I believe that M&S have hit the nail on the head with today’s statement, as the coronavirus pandemic has completely changed the retail landscape as we knew it.

“Consumers will never shop in the same way again, and Britain’s retailers are set to return to a market which is very different to the one they left some two months ago.

“The key now for retailers is to maximise the efficiency, safety, and convenience of the shopping experience for their customers.

“In an environment where hygiene and speed are of the utmost concern, the biggest difficulty that retailers across the country will have to negotiate is the challenge of getting customers in and out of their stores safely and quickly, while offering solutions to old problems that have been highlighted by coronavirus.”

When updating up how retail stores are operated, bosses could take tips from supermarkets that have remained busy during the coronavirus crisis.

Will continued: “Observing the success of convenience stores and supermarkets will go great lengths to help retailers emerge from the lockdown.

“This is because these retailers have been open throughout the pandemic and have showcased considerable resolve and ability to adapt and quickly implement new measures.”

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