M&S was founded by a partnership between Michael Marks and Thomas Spencer in North Yorkshire. Marks, a Polish refugee, moved to the UK and started work for a company called Barran, in Leeds.

In 1884, Marks launched a penny bazaar on Kirkgate Market in Leeds and hired Spencer as his first cashier.

Five years later, a permanent stall was acquired and the partnership formalised. It was the birth of Marks and Spencer.

The stall moved to Birkenhead Market in 1901 and grew to a business with numerous market stalls around several markets. In the early 20th century, the stalls only sold British-made goods (a policy which it later moved away from), which proved very popular with consumers.

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M&S facts


The Growth of Marks and Spencer – M&S Facts

Soon after, Marks & Spencer shops began to open across the country and the firm went from strength to strength.

The focus was on quality products and the reputation for this along with great service found favour with the British public.

In 1960, the brand expanded overseas and opened its first Asian stall in Kabul, Afghanistan. This was quickly followed by store openings in Canada and across Europe.

Today, M&S is a household name and considered a British institution. Percy Pig sweets are a student favourite… and long may that continue – however they most know for clothing, home and food sales.

Frequently Asked Questions About Marks and Spencer and Fun Facts about Marks and Spencers

Here are popular questions and facts about M&S we get asked about this top UK retailer:

What makes M&S unique?

It is a long-standing institution that continues to involve over the years. Initially known for clothes and home it now is known for great food.

How big is M&S?

It currently has 959 stores with 615 just selling food.

How much does M&S make a year?

As with most companies, this rises and falls last year it was said t make 581 million in profit.

How old is M&S?

Founded in 1884, Marks and Spencer is now 136 years old.

Summary 2024 Marks and Spencer Guide – Marks and Spencers Facts Conclusion

An old fav that has been around for years, you can find top quality clothing, home and good at Marks and Spencer. They are great for gifts or if you are looking to treat yourself to some quality food.

Check out our regularly updated discounts guide for any ways to save today and this page for general Marks and Spencer information

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Happy shopping!