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

Haunted houses are a celebrated part of American folklore. In Massachusetts sits Lizzie Borden’s home, a surviving testament to the little girl who supposedly slaughtered her parents with an ax in the dark of night. In New York’s Greenwich Village, 22 different ghosts haunt the “House of Death,” including famed author Mark Twain. Even the White House itself is rumored to be haunted.



tall grass in front of a house: Low Angle View Of Building Against Cloudy Sky


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Low Angle View Of Building Against Cloudy Sky

Americans love their horror stories, devouring Hollywood retellings of real-life ghost stories like American Horror Story: Murder House, The Haunting of Hill House and The Conjuring

However, it’s a bit of a different matter when it happens to you.

Haunted houses are a subject that sparks much passionate debate among believers and non-believers, but a haunted house could have serious implications for your homeowners insurance. Here’s why.

[ Read: The Best Homeowners Insurance Companies ]

What Makes a House Haunted?

These are some of the signs of a haunted house:

  • Movement of objects
  • Puffs of air
  • Cold air
  • Shadows
  • Unexplained noises, voices or smells

Pets are also known to be sensitive to spirits and can help you determine if there is something off in your home. As psychic medium Chris Medina explains to Forbes, “Whether it’s physical or intuitive, you’ll definitely be able to know.

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This, however, isn’t a deterrent to some buyers. 

“I’ve had buyers who find haunted houses charming,” says Des Moines, Iowa Realtor Doug Burnett of Keller Williams Realty to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

For Dana Bull, who works at Sagan Harborside Sotheby’s International Realty in Massachusetts, it’s a normal part of everyday life. “Salem is one of the markets where I practice real estate, and you never know what’s lurking behind closed doors,” she says.

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