LONDON (Reuters) – British retailer Marks & Spencer, seeking to avoid a repeat of last Christmas when its performance was ruined by excessive food waste, is rolling out a supply chain programme it says will crack the problem.
Reporting on festive trading in January, two months before the COVID-19 pandemic brought much of Britain to a standstill, Chief Executive Steve Rowe said that while M&S had enjoyed record food sales its profit margins were dented by high levels of waste.
M&S normally accounts for just over 3% of the UK grocery market but at Christmas it punches above its weight, selling, for example, one in four of all fresh turkeys consumed.
Nevertheless, the group has been dogged by food availability issues and waste levels that are amongst the highest in the industry.
For Rowe, attempting to boost M&S’s fortunes after a decade of failed reinventions, the antidote to waste is