Marks & Spencer has ramped up its multichannel offer with the launch of an online TV channel.

Your M&S TV carries short videos ranging from interviews with designers, such as Patricia Field, to wine tasting advice, ads and consumer vox pops. The venture follows hard on the heels of rival Next’s online TV service.

Although the service is a trial, an M&S spokeswoman said: “Video content has an important part to play in bringing our product to life. Your M&S TV helps us do that.”

Online forms a central plank of M&S’s growth strategy. It intends to net£500m in e-tail sales by 2010/11. During the Christmas quarter its online turnover rose 29 per cent.

Jane Gleadall, partner at e-commerce consultancy Biglight, said the increasing adoption by M&S and other high street retailers of rich content online, traditionally used more by e-tailers such as Asos, was the right strategy. She said: “The high street is moving in on the space occupied by the pure-plays.”

She said such initiatives can help build stronger relationships with customers and communicate product and range more effectively, as long as they are well integrated with the shopping experience.

Other projects

M&S is to extend its trial of branded food products to 20 stores in the Southeast. It began the trial in the Northeast last year.

Separately, it has been reported that M&S executive chairman Sir Stuart Rose may face renewed pressure from institutional investors at this year’s AGM to split his role. A motion was said to be at an “embryonic stage”. The retailer declined to comment.