by Josh Barrie
Marks & Spencer, which has for decades positioned itself at the top-end of high street food retail, is to launch 'Re-Marks-able' - a new range which will shine a light on its new value offers.
The move follows price drops across more than 500 lines at M&S Food, with reductions on sliced milk, eggs, pasta, and salmon fillets.
While foods included in the Re-Marks-able range won't be branded separately, M&S is to launch social media campaigns, new ticketing, and will create new sections in stores dedicated to its "value" offers.
From 13 November, M&S customers more accustomed to spending big on pork crackling crisps, edamame beans and posh prawn sandwiches will be also able to get more affordable groceries.
M&S is still pricier than most (Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Few would have predicted the retailer would sell loaves of bread for 65p (down from £1.15), or a medium chicken for £3.50 (down from £4.50).
M&S said while it cuts prices, effectively bringing a number of products more in line with the mid-market, Re-Marks-able has not sacrificed on "unrivalled quality and sourcing standards".
And yet in the same announcement, the supermarket said the launch comes as part of a "far-reaching transformation plan that aims to broaden its appeal to more families across the UK."
"Re-Marks-able is part of our plan to debunk the myths about our prices, as we know customers’ perception doesn’t always match the reality," said Stuart Machin, managing director of M&S Food.
"M&S Food is changing fast and our value is increasingly competitive, especially on the everyday products families shop most often."
While M&S has brought prices down, shoppers should still expect to pay more than at alternative supermarkets, bar Waitrose.
How does M&S compare?
Salmon: M&S £4; Waitrose £5.99; Tesco £3.85; Aldi £2.85White bread: M&S 65p; Waitrose 59p; Tesco 55p; Aldi 36pApples multipack: M&S £1.50; Waitrose £1.50; Tesco 79p; Aldi no infoSix eggs: M&S 90p; Waitrose £1; Tesco 84p; Aldi 75pPasta 500g: M&S £1.50; Waitrose £1.70; Tesco 53p; Aldi 45pWhole medium chicken: M&S £3.50; Waitrose £4.10; Tesco £2.95; Aldi £1.87Four pints of milk: M&S £1.15; Waitrose £1.35; Tesco £1.09; Aldi £1.09
While M&S remains upmarket in pricing, the supermarket has long argued that its food is to a better standard.
A spokesman said to i that "this is not about us simply lowering our prices – it’s about highlighting the value you get for M&S quality".
In a statement, the company said it has invested some £100m in bringing prices lower, offsetting costs by removing "complex and confusing promotions", as well as how it buys goods. It may be that M&S will buy its Re-Marks-able products in greater bulk.
Either way, M&S made it clear that tackling customer perceptions on prices is key to growing market share - and that's what the new launch is designed to do.
Prices were those available on supermarket websites on 12 November 2019
This article originally appeared on our sister site, inews