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M&S rolls out "Sparks Book & Shop" during Lockdown 2 so customers can avoid queues

Tom Bottomley
03 November 2020

Ahead of the increased restrictions from Thursday 5 November, Marks & Spencer has accelerated the roll out of its "Sparks Book & Shop" concept, initially trialled in Wales and Scotland.

Though the focus is on M&S Foodhalls, so shoppers can book an allotted half-an-hour time slot to get all their essentials, and avoid further lengthy lockdown queues and overcrowding in the winter months, customers will also still be able to shop clothing and home products. The M&S website states: “Our focus is on food but of course customers can shop clothing at the same time.”

The online reservation service is now available at all M&S’s 566 Foodhalls and larger stores containing Foodhalls, meaning the service is now available UK wide.

Up to two people from one household can “simply check-in with the friendly hosts at the entrance of their local store.”

The service has been trialled in 80 stores across Scotland and Wales following increased restrictions in those regions.

Helen Milford, M&S Stores Director, said: “With winter ahead, we know customers are increasingly concerned about queuing, so in response we wanted to deliver a quick, digital solution to help them shop. Designed by our in-house tech teams - Book & Shop does just that, helping Sparks customers guarantee a slot at a time that suits them and removing the need to queue should there be one.

“Of course, customers will always be able to visit M&S without a slot, but we hope this is a small way we can help make things a little easier for our customers.”

A statement on the M&S website reads: “M&S is focused on helping customers shop with confidence now and through the festive season and, as part of this, has shared its Christmas promises – from delivering new digital solutions to make shopping easier, offering a safe and clean place to shop to giving peace of mind with extended returns.”

M&S remains committed to limiting the number of customers in store and is still using a counting app at every store to ensure social distancing can be maintained.

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