Marks and Spencer has long been a British institution. Since its creation in 1894, Marks and Spencer has been a high street staple with almost 600 shops in the UK and 240 in more than 30 countries around the world. Marks and Spencer is also the largest clothing retailer in Britain and many of its domestic stores also have a food range made famous by a nationwide TV advert campaign. More recently though, Marks and Spencer has branched out into homewares, furniture and technology.
Some of Marks and Spencers' peak years were in the mid-nineties as its profits soared and it became the first shop to reach a pre-tax profit of over 1 billion pounds. However, in hindsight its then owner may have been pushing too hard for profit margins and in the early 2000s, the company took a nosedive with a 2.8m net profit in March 2001. In March 2008, the net profit had increased to 821m. This massive growth is in part due to the recruitment of younger designers to make the shop more appealing to a younger market. Also, the food side was expanded and has gained a reputation as producing high-quality food. On February 28 2008 the Company acquired 50% of the Marks and Spencer Marinopoulos B.V. On March 20 2008 the Company acquired 51% of the COMS a.s.
Despite a new found popularity, share prices have taken a plunge during mid 2008 due to conservative shopping during the credit crunch. Current revenue stands at 9.06 billion pounds and net income stands at 651.70 million.