With retail sales suffering due to the Coronavirus pandemic, clothing store Marks & Spencer has announced 7000 job losses in the coming months, as people wearing face masks pass a sign outside their shop in the city centre on 18th August 2020 in London, United Kingdom. M&S will cut the jobs over the next three months both in its stores and also management. (photo by Mike Kemp/In PIctures via Getty Images)
In August, M&S announced it would cut jobs over the next three months both in its stores and also management. Photo: Mike Kemp/In PIctures via Getty Images

Marks & Spencer (MKS.L) is preparing for Christmas early this year, aiming to avoid mistakes made last yuletide with its supply chains.

In an effort to tackle food waste, the high street stalwart is looking to its supply chain to crack the issue of waste reduction, according to reports by Reuters this morning.

In January, before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in the UK, M&S’s chief executive Steve Rowe said that while the company had enjoyed record food sales, profit margins were dented by high levels of waste that are among some of the highest in the industry.

At Christmas, M&S usually sells one in four of all fresh turkeys eaten in the UK, punching above its weight in proportion to the 3% share of the market it holds in grocery shopping.

Rowe hopes initiative, called Vangarde, will be the silver bullet, after years of failed reinventions.

Ryan Lemon, M&S head of retail supply chain told Reuters that it will “reset the foundations of our business and the platform to grow.”

“We believe that we’re going to see an improvement in sales in these stores, a reduction in waste and an improvement in availability,” he said.

The first phase of the programme included 92 M&S stores. On Monday, this will be rolled out to a further 65 stores. It will serve 595 stores by July 2021.

READ MORE: Brexit: UK government warns businesses to ‘act now’ on transition preparation

Back in June, major UK supermarkets signed a pledge to look to halve the country’s annual food waste bill by 2030. It currently stands at 10.2 million tonnes of food and drink, totting up

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 a supply chain initiative called Vangarde – named after the shopping park in the northern English city of York where the group frequently tests new ideas.

“It’s absolutely going to reset the foundations of our business and the platform to grow,” Ryan Lemon, M&S head of retail supply chain told Reuters.

The Vangarde programme aims to get all parts of M&S’s supply chain working better, from planning, to suppliers, to logistics and stores.

Its first phase included 92 M&S stores served by a regional distribution centre (RDC) in Barnsley, northern England. A second phase starts on Monday with a further 65 stores served by a RDC in Thatcham, southern England, with a full roll-out serving 595 stores by July 2021.

“We believe that we’re going to see an improvement in sales in these stores, a reduction in waste and an improvement in availability,” said Lemon.

He explained that Vangarde

By James Davey



a sign on the side of a building: A M&S store is pictured at Oxford Street in London


© Reuters/HENRY NICHOLLS
A M&S store is pictured at Oxford Street in London


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.

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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 a supply chain initiative called Vangarde – named after the shopping park in the northern English city of York where the group frequently tests new ideas.

“It’s absolutely going to reset the foundations of our business and the platform to grow,” Ryan Lemon, M&S head of retail supply chain told Reuters.

The Vangarde programme aims to get all parts of M&S’s supply chain working better, from planning, to suppliers, to logistics and stores.

Its first phase included 92 M&S stores served by a regional distribution centre (RDC) in Barnsley, northern England. A second phase starts on Monday with a further 65 stores served by a RDC in Thatcham, southern England, with a full roll-out serving 595 stores by July 2021.

WASTE REDUCTION

“We believe that we’re going to see an improvement

(RTTNews) – Disney and Pixar’s animated family film ‘Soul’, which was due to be released in November, is skipping theaters and heading for an exclusive Christmas premiere on streaming service Disney+.

In the countries where Disney Plus is not available, Soul will be released theatrically, but a date is yet to be announced.

In a tweet, Walt Disney Studios said “Disney and Pixar’s Soul will be streaming exclusively on Disney+ on December 25th.”

The movie will now be available to Disney Plus’ around 60.5 million subscribers. The streaming service costs $6.99 per month.

The decision on Disney’s much awaited film after Mulan comes as theaters are struggling to remain open amid new restrictions following increase in COVID-19 numbers in many areas. Soul was initially heading for a June release, but was rescheduled for November 20 in U.S. theaters due to the pandemic.

Meanwhile, it is expected that Soul will not cost like Mulan, which was released on Disney Plus for an extra $30 for “premier access” video on-demand or VOD release.

In a statement, Disney said, “Over the last six months, marketplace conditions created by the ongoing pandemic, while difficult in so many ways, have also provided an opportunity for innovation in approaches to content distribution.”

Earlier this week, movie theater operator Cineworld announced its plans to temporarily suspend operations at all of its 536 Regal theatres in the US and Cineworld and Picturehouse theatres in the UK from October 8. The company then noted that studios have been reluctant to release their pipeline of new films, and without these, it cannot provide strong commercial films necessary for customers to consider coming back to theatres amid Covid-19.

Meanwhile, AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc., the biggest operator of cinemas in the U.S., recently said it expects 520 of its roughly 600 theaters

Tina Fey and Jamie Foxx voice characters in Disney Pixar’s “Soul.”

Disney

Disney’s “Soul” will no longer debut in theaters. The new Pixar animated feature will instead arrive on the company’s streaming service Disney+ on December 25.

“We are thrilled to share Pixar’s spectacular and moving ‘Soul’ with audiences direct to Disney+ in December,” said Bob Chapek, CEO of The Walt Disney Company. “A new original Pixar film is always a special occasion, and this truly heartwarming and humorous story about human connection and finding one’s place in the world will be a treat for families to enjoy together this holiday season.”  

The move comes as Cineworld, which owns Regal Cinemas, has closed more than 500 theaters in the U.S. . That loss has forced Disney and other studios to rethink their distribution strategies.

Unlike Disney’s “Mulan,” which skipped theaters to go to Disney+ in September, it appears that “Soul” will be free as part of the traditional streaming on-demand service.

The movement of “Soul” from the calendar is yet another blow to movie theaters. Major cinemas have struggled since reopening in August as attendance has been low and a number of Hollywood blockbusters have postponed into next year.

The delay of “Wonder Woman 1984,” “Black Widow,” “No Time to Die” and more have left a gaping hole in the theatrical calendar. And there are fears that even more films could be pushed in the coming weeks.

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