M&S ventures into magazine sales as a convenience drive

Marks & Spencer is to boost its magazine range in an effort to create a one-stop-shop for convenience customers.

The push may mean the retailer takes market share from high street newsagents and comes two months after the agreement to sell M&S sandwiches in WHSmith travel locations was scrapped. M&S has spent more than£100,000 on the implementation of new magazine display systems. Some 50 stores will stock magazines as part of the initiative.

News distributor John Menzies will provide M&S with training on merchandising and management of the new category, in a shopfit designed by Bartuf.

Chief executive Luc Vandevelde said: 'One of the things we've learned is that people don't like to do two trips where they could do one.'

At Tuesday's prelims, Marks & Spencer also revealed details of its planned home furnishings shops, to be called Marks & Spencer Lifestore. Products will be grouped according to themes, such as 'rest' and 'celebrate'.

Chief executive Roger Holmes said the coming year would bring the development of clothing product categories in which the retailer already has significant market share. Kidswear and men's casualwear will be a particular focus.

The retailer made a pre-tax profit of£721.3 million - up 11.5 per cent - on sales of£8.1 billion. However, underlying sales in the fourth quarter fell by 0.4 per cent.

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