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Marks & Spencer Says Online ‘Profitable’ as Older Women Use Web

Nov. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Marks & Spencer Group Plc, the U.K’s largest clothing retailer, said its Internet business is profitable as older, female shoppers move online.

The 128-year-old retailer, which reported 560 million pounds ($903 million) in multichannel sales last year, told investors that it made a profit in the fiscal year ended March 2012 at an investor presentation, which it posted on its website today.

Marks & Spencer is investing in its web offering to increase sales from the Internet and grab a bigger share of the market. The retailer is the third-biggest online clothing and footwear chain in the U.K. and controls about 6 percent of the market. The company has about 11.7 percent of the total clothing market in Britain, it said in May.

Marks & Spencer will come off its Inc platform in early 2014 and is building its own dedicated e-commerce distribution center in Castle Doddington, England to fulfill online orders. The retailer is spending 250 million pounds to increase multichannel sales to as much as 1 billion pounds by fiscal 2014.

The retailer said its online customer is a typically an affluent female aged between 55 and 65 years old who owns lots of technology like tablets and smartphones and already banks and shops online.


To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah Shannon in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Celeste Perri at

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