As the retailer reports full year results tomorrow (24th May), Marks & Spencer is weighing up future financial success with its food sector as it considers online deliveries.
This news comes following the recent announcement that M&S would open 34 food stores as it closed 6 clothing outlets. The financial planning involved with online delivery is to be complex as even the big four supermarkets have struggled to make profit from deliveries, but the cost of maintaining bricks-and-mortar stores is not static either, and staying away from the online business model increasingly isn’t an option.
Bhupender Singh, CEO of Intelenet Global Services said, “despite being reluctant to go online, M&S is now weighing up a number of options – including some form of partnership with Ocado, a firm it considered taking over before Ocado went public back in 2010. What we’re seeing playing out very visibly in front of our eyes in the case of M&S is the strategic implications of a whole raft of financial analytics in the background. When it comes to expanding the footprint of any retail company – whether that is online or in-store – the financial management process plays a crucial role in guiding the decision making of where investment should be directed.
“Being able to anticipate industry trends and customer behaviour are some factors which determine where money is being directed within a business. There is a lot of emphasis of data being used to better understand customer behaviour, preference and shopping behaviour. But it is also important to recognise the role data plays in helping a business to model the financial implications, both in the short and longer term, of different market strategies.
“Retailers are shifting towards more omni-channel strategies, balancing online and offline channels which accommodate all customers. It isn’t as simple as choosing between bricks or clicks, but about forging a strategy which combines the best of both in order to secure financial success into the future.”