Britain’s M&S expands online business to over 100 markets

Marks and Spencer (M&S) tags are seen on joggers made at the Fakhruddin Textile Mills Limited in Gazipur

LONDON (Reuters) – British retailer Marks & Spencer has launched 46 websites in new markets, expanding its online reach to over 100 countries, it said on Monday.

The group said the expansion into countries from Argentina and Brazil to South Korea and Pakistan was part of its strategy to accelerate its online business.

When M&S published first-half results in November it reported a 75% increase in international e-commerce sales, underlining the shift in online spend throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re focused on turbocharging our online business both in the UK and internationally, and as part of this we see a real opportunity in extending the number of countries where we run an online channel further,” said Paul Friston, M&S’s international director.

The websites will offer M&S’s clothing and home products.

In January rival John Lewis said it was no longer pursuing international expansion and had ceased its online delivery service.

M&S, which also sells food, has been hit hard by the pandemic as lockdowns have shuttered most of its clothing space.

Shares in the group were up 0.5% at 1116 GMT, paring losses over the last year to 5%.

(Reporting by James Davey, Editing by Paul Sandle and Louise Heavens)

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