Marks and Spencer Rumoured To Enter Australia This Year

AdNews broke the news last Friday, with a senior agency executive telling the site of the development.

“As far as I can tell, M&S hasn’t decided on which agency to appoint,” the anonymous source claimed, “and in terms of opening, well, no-one knows the exact date, but it will definitely happen soon.”

Retail Doctor Group CEO Brian Walker agreed, telling SmartCompany the brand coming to Australia was ‘absolutely… a given.”.

Founded in 1884, the upmarket brand currently trades in fashion and fine food, operates in 50 countries around the world, employing over 85,000 people. The brand has already been doing business in Australia for years through its online channel, which Walker cites as important intelligence going into their new physical presence.

“They know the market here,” Walker told SmartCompany. “They know through their online sales and online intelligence that this a good market for them.”

The move is a big threat to the market dominance of Myer and David Jones, already operating in a crowded duopoly in Australian department stores. Between a significant English-born population in Australia, the pre-established brand recognition from the online channel, and the upmarket grocery department Marks and Spencer are known for that has gone largely neglected by the two major brands here, could see Marks and Spencer flourish in Australia.

“The food offering has largely been left alone by department stores, relative to Marks and Spencer and Harrods,” says Walker. “I can only assume they’ll bring that element, which has been missing from the Australian market.”

The path to entering Australian retail is largely set out for Marks and Spencer, with other international retailers H&M, TopShop and Uniqlo having blazed the trail for them in recent years; following their form it’s likely M&S will open their first and second stores in Sydney and Melbourne, before a third in Brisbane and then expanding out to Perth. Walker believes it will be a slow and steady progression.

“I don’t think there will be a plethora of Marks and Spencer stores,” he says. “They’ll first see how the Sydney and Melbourne goes and boost their online presence.”

Rumours of Marks and Spencer’s plans arrive in the wake of a recent report by Deloitte, claiming that 2015 will continue the previous year’s trend of international retailers taking opportunity of the weaker Australian dollar to establish a foothold in the Australian market.

“As major global players continue to enter the Australian market, and existing global retailers expand their store footprint, Australian retailers across all segments will continue to face significant challenges and increased competition,” said Deloitte Australia Partner, David White, to SmartCompany. “The ability to innovate, drive improved processes and to connect with the consumer will be critical in order to remain competitive.”

27 thoughts on “Marks and Spencer Rumoured To Enter Australia This Year

    • Alan Corbett
    • 1st April

    As an ex M/S customer / cardholder from the U.K. ,sorely missing shopping at the store for food and clothing , my wife and I would strongly suggest that you forget about sydney and Melbourne as locations for your first Australian stores and strongly consider opening in the fastest growing area of Australia , the Gold Coast and look at the currently being revamped Pacific Fair shopping centre at Broadbeach in the Gold Coast for a foothold in the Australian economy. You will never regret it. Waiting in anticipation.


    Alan Corbett

      • Shanu
      • 10th May

      Strongly agree with the above! Marks and Spencer’s would be great at pacific fairs new shopping centre when it opens. Especially with a large population of English people on the coast

    • Pat Fry
    • 19th May

    I would love to see Marks and Spencer’s in Melbourne I miss shopping in Marks Spencer’s

    • John Hutton
    • 24th May

    I am very much looking forward to a M&S store opening in Sydney. Most of my clothes are from there store, but I can only buy when I visit family in London which is not so often these days.

    I have purchased my clothes from there for the last 20 years. I cant wait for them to get to Sydney, I hope it wont be too long coming.

    • margaret smith
    • 28th May

    Got to be the Gold Coast, fastest growing area in Australia. Also the biggest holiday destination for all over the world. I have been shopping in Singapore these last few years to buy my Marks and Spencers clothes. It would be a dream come true to shop on the Gold Coast. Waiting!!! waiting!!!!!

      • Amira Younan
      • 7th May

      I am looking forward to shop at Marks and Spencer, in Melbourne,they have best quality clothing ,food ,manchester etc.I used to shop at the store when I was studying in England over 40 yrs ago.

    • Gerry Hunter
    • 11th June

    It would be good to see Marks & Spencers store(s) opening up in Australia. HOWEVER, it is always Sydney and Melbourne, then Brisbane that are the first locations. As the article states “… and then expanding out to Perth”. When, oh when, will Adelaide be included in negotiations for opening up of additional locations of known international retail outlets! Is it really viewed internationally (and nationally for that matter) amongst retail outlets as a complete backwater? Adelaide gets left out every time – and it is really annoying to us South Australians!!!

    • Gillian Brain
    • 17th June

    The problem is that when M&S, Debenhams etc open stores in a country they no longer accept online orders For delivery there. Living in Hervey Bay on the Fraser Coast in Queensland it takes a 7 hour return car journey to get to any major shops. Please, please do not stop online ordering if you go ahead with this.
    The other problem is that I cannot buy Gift Vouchers for my daughter to spend in Dubai because you have stores there and do not have international gift vouchers.
    I wish you every success but not at the expense of denying people online shopping from the UK.

    • jill
    • 9th July

    Hoooray, i will be in heaven , nothing like it here….

    • Jen
    • 19th July

    Yes please continue with UK online shopping when Aussie stores open. Can’t wait for a BIG Melbourne M&S store, bring on the heaven too! Lacking here for far too long.

    • Ruth
    • 20th July

    Well as usual Canberra, the Capital of Australia, isn’t even considered. So with this in mind please open in Sydney which would allow all of us expats the luxury of shopping again in Marks and Spencer. The best food and underwear shopping in the world. So badly needed in Australia.

      • Eve Lewis
      • 2nd March

      Most definitely the best news this year!
      Really looking forward to buying all my Christmas accompaniments like “pigs in blankets”.

    • Karen
    • 20th August

    Oh please bring M & S to Australia. I believe it will do well here as I have recommended lots of my friends and they have items shipped over from the UK. I also believe it would be so good to have the food department here also. Oh God I miss the food so much.

    Please come to Australia.

    • Anonymous
    • 17th September

    Why does Melbourne always get the International Shops first ? Like H&M, Uni QLO etc and then Sydney ? Why can’t we just get it all at the same time instead of us waiting for a few months or even a year ??

    • Adrian Bryant
    • 22nd September

    Everybody knows that the shopping mecca of Australia is undeniably Melbourne, and voted the worlds most liveable city a record four times. Marks & Spencer your signature store should be here.
    Just can’t wait to start shopping!

    • Amanda
    • 18th October

    Before emigrating to Perth 16 years ago there was talk about M & S coming to Perth in the Australian news paper, so this has been a long time coming. Looking forward to it , let’s hope you keep your promise.

    • Paul Hebron
    • 20th October

    I too, as a past customer of M&S, encourage researching PAC Fair on the Gold Coast as a prime outlet choice in Australia. The demographic is ripe for genre.

    • Janet Genevieve
    • 4th November

    As a dedicated M&S shopper , M&S pensioner and total M&S addict ….please come to Perth . There are so many English people here you are guaranteed success !

    • Angela lennon
    • 6th November

    I remember Marks and Spencer’s coming to Melbourne (in Myers store) in the 80s or 90s and it was a big flop!!! The prices were extremely high and limited merchandise !!!! Hope they don’t make the same mistake and yes Pacific Fair and Robina on the GC could work

    • Dee Ann
    • 25th November

    Well then
    I was just about to order online again !
    Can not beat uk clothes & marks & spencer !!!
    however going to The Eastern Sstates first ?
    so does this mean the end of my online orders & free delivery from UK , no online to perth ??
    not good if this is the rule ,,,,,,,, on a good note hooray !!!!!! for Marks n Spencer love your stuff ..

    Perth should be FIRST !!!!!! plenty $$ here

    • Frank
    • 13th January

    Gold Coast? Forget that, come to the more classy and well establish city of Brisbane. The Queen Street Mall is looking more global by the day, M&S you will be welcomed with open arms in Brisbane. Maybe run the discount outlet from GC.

      • Ali
      • 28th February

      Discount……. There’s lots of money on the GC, so we’ll take the flag ship store please not just the seconds thanks

    • Sandy
    • 15th January

    OMG I am so excited, I miss M&S with a passion. It will be good to go back to the UK & not have to buy everything from M&S. Australia desperately needs good quality clothes, & to die for food.

    • Matt
    • 19th January

    I seriously doubt M&S will do food, more is the pity. Not aware of any that do, certainly not Singapore, KL or Hong Kong, although they did do some jar and packet foods, but not like they do in the UK.

    • Ali
    • 28th February

    Please come to the Gold Coast, I shop on line all the time, there is most definitely a place for M&S in Australia. We need good quality reasonably priced clothes & home wares. M&S is one of the few things I miss from UK. We also need good quality convenience foods. I totally agree with the first comment

    • Teena Lazaridis
    • 4th March

    The long awaited arrival of M&S on line Australia has arrived.
    Well how disappointing!!!
    Selection poor and cost extortionate and to top it off UK M& S no longer posting to Australia.
    Please do not stop us from shopping in the UK.
    We love you but feel that Australia is being ripped off.

    • Angela Lee
    • 21st April

    I have just returned to Adelaide after 15 years in the UK and the biggest thing I miss is M&S food stores and within the service stations . The variety, range and quality is the best I’ve come across. From simple and delicious sandwiches and wraps to wonderful dinners…you can’t beat M&S. So many expats here also. Westfield Marion would be the perfect place. PLEASE COME TO ADELAIDE.


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