Marks and Spencer has grown from its humble beginnings in 1884 as a stall manned by a Russian refugee, one Michael Marks at Leeds Kirgate Market to become one of the UK’s leading retailers with over 600 stores in the UK and a further 200 in 40 other countries. A global company that is affectionately known as M&S, it is founded on traditional values of quality, service, innovation and trust. The arrival of the 21st century witnessed an introduction of new lines across the broad product range as well as M&S’s dedication to ethical and global support in their 100-point eco-plan known as Plan A, launched in 2007.
The width and breadth of the range of M&S products makes their online site a shopper’s paradise, particularly in terms of the food and wine section. The M&S site offers a vast selection of high quality food ranges complete with a plethora of wines available to suit every wine lover’s taste, including reds, whites as well as a selection of Champagne (including Oudinot Brut Champagne) and sparkling wines too.
Not only does M&S offer a superb selection of wines for the novice straight through to the more advanced wine lover, but with Wine Plan new customers to the site have the chance of sampling the Special Introductory Offer of 12 superb bottles of wine for £39.99 which features all the classical favourites including Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc, and Cabernet amongst others. Wines can be a selection of both whites and reds or a mixture, with the customer setting their own preferences. Details of the next delivery are sent in plenty of time so that the customer knows well in advance what to expect. Alternatively, a case can be cancelled at any time. Members receive one very special 12-bottle case of wine every three months, with automatic delivery.
There is the opportunity of having your own wine plan with a 20% saving on every case plus free delivery, including exclusive hand-picked recommendations from the M&S experts. There are several wine collections to choose from such as the Gold Label collection with 12 bottles of selected wines made by the M&S winemaker and the Friday Night Whites, a collection of 12 white wines to help you kick off the week-end in style. There is also the chance to subscribe to Murphy’s Wine Diary, a weekly blog about this M&S wine expert and his adventures in wine buying. Besides this there is additional wine news that sets out the New Arrivals, notable award winning wines, suggested wine gifts as well as ‘Press Picks’ where M&S wines have been mentioned in the press, notable examples being the juicy red Minervois 2006, an Erdener Treppchen Riesling Kabinett and the Tupungato Chardonnay 2007.
Minimum Orders and Purchasing
The minimum order value is £35 which includes a £5.50 service and handling charge, payable on all orders. One off purchases are welcome with all purchases to be made in pounds Sterling, with international credit card providers or banks determining the exchange rate. Additional processing or administration charges may be added. Customers are advised to check for any other additional costs such as taxes, fees or levies before placing an order for international delivery.
Delivery Times and Costs
Marks and Spencer offer national and international delivery. Standard delivery charges for the UK are £3.50 per delivery, with a 2-3 day delivery time as long as required items are in stock, with home and technology items taking 7 working days to arrive. UK orders exceeding £150 are delivered free of charge. European delivery charges are £10 with approximate delivery time of 6-9 days and delivery to the US and Canada costing £20 which would take between 7-10 days for delivery. Orders to be delivered further afield to Australia and Canada will cost £20 but will take up to a fortnight to arrive. All products are sold without delivery duty being added, so customers need to be aware that recipients outside of the UK are liable to pay import duty or other taxes. This can be clarified at the time of placing the order.
Style and Usability of Site
The Marks and Spencer online site is very well laid out and offers quick and easy access to its various sections. The list of subheadings makes it easy to select the section you require, whilst a click on these subheadings reveals additional ‘at-a-glance’ lists of the information contained within a specific section. Click on a heading and a simple list is revealed to help you make a quick and informed decision as to the most suitable route to take.