Marks & Spencer is looking to re-energise its offering by partnering with European innovation firm True, heralded as part of an ‘ongoing transformation which places digital expertise at the heart of the business.’
The collaboration will give M&S access to True’s retail and consumer expertise, emerging technologies, proprietary research and sector-specific international network, in order to generate investment opportunities as the business seeks to increase its digital capabilities.
“Our partnership with True will give us…the potential to transform the way we operate and run our business,” chief executive Steve Rowe said.
“As M&S seeks to become a Digital First retailer, we will be on the front foot thanks to True’s deep sector knowledge and the exposure they will give us to new enterprise-ready technologies which will benefit our customers and make us fit for the future.”
True’s chief commercial officer, Mike Tattersall, added that while M&S is a business that has help shape the British retail landscape, it recognises the need to evolve.
“The explicit focus of our partnership activities is to deliver positive commercial outcomes with clear and tangible ROI for our Partners,” Tattersall stated.
“We will support M&S in enhancing its operations and ensuring it’s a retail business that is strongly positioned to navigate a continuously changing landscape.”
Employees to be upskilled
The decision follows the announcement that M&S employees will be upskilled as part of a new data skills initiative, partnering with Decoded to create a Data Academy in retail.
The academy is set to take employees from every part of retail and teach them to become “data skilled leaders to lead digital transformation across the business.”
“We are proud to be working with one of the UK’s most iconic brands in retail and excited to be putting data literacy and skills in the hands of over 1,000 people,” said Kathryn Parsons, founder of Decoded.
“This is a pioneering and inspiring commitment to lifelong learning and future-facing skills. Every leader in business today should take note. Education is the answer to The Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
Employees will enrol in ‘The Data Fellowship’, a programme funded entirely by the UK Government’s Apprenticeship Levy, a billion pound fund created by the Government to help upskill the UK workforce to be ready for the future of work.
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