Marks & Spencer, BP Link in New Food Retailing Venture

19 January 2006

UK high street retail giant Marks & Spencer is reportedly tolinking with the nation's richest company, oil titan BP, to put its food in petrol stations.

The deal would place M&S' "very popular and profitable" Simply Food stores in up to three hundred fuel forecourts across the country.

M&S generates around half its £7 billion ($12.36bn; €10.2bn) annual sales from its aspirational food products, while the rest comes from clothes and homewares sold in its main department stores. The apparel lines have struggled in recent years to find their place in the market.

To further develop the Simply Food estate, M&S has also inked a £38 million deal to buy 28 sites from rival food retailer Iceland

BP and M&S remain zip-lipped about their tieup but the retailer's finance director Ian Dyson is more forthcoming on the Iceland agreement, saying: "This deal is about giving us some acceleration for our food plans."

Data sourced from Financial Times Online and BBC Online; additional content by WARC staff