Exel and Marks & Spencer Announce Supply Chain Partnership

(LONDON 27 March 2003) - Marks & Spencer, one of the United Kingdom's leading retailers has today announced, that following a year long review of logistics operations, Exel, the world leader in supply chain solutions, has been awarded the management of seven of the retailer's 11 general merchandise warehouses across the UK on a five-year contract.

This new contract highlights the growing, strategic importance of the supply chain for major companies such as Marks & Spencer. Expected benefits include superior focus on customer service and improved distribution processes and network systems. By working with Exel across much of the network, Marks & Spencer will be better placed to respond to marketplace changes quickly and effectively, maintaining a high level of service to customers.

Marks & Spencer and Exel will be working together to coordinate this new approach to maximize time and cost benefits. Perry Watts, managing director, Retail and Consumer, Non-food, Exel, has led the project team.

"We have worked in partnership with Marks & Spencer for more than 35 years and are thrilled to have been awarded this contract, which represents a major extension of our existing business with Marks & Spencer. The selection process has enabled us to work closely with the team at Marks & Spencer and our mission over the next five years is to deliver an industry-leading approach that improves customer satisfaction throughout the national supply chain network," he said.

Simon Ratcliffe, head of logistics, Marks & Spencer, commented, "The announcement of this award marks the culmination of a comprehensive review to redefine our UK general merchandise. This new approach will enable us to maximize all the operational and cost benefits of a nationally coordinated supply chain and ensure that all parties are benefiting from the creation of value."

Exel currently manages the Enfield distribution center for Marks & Spencer and will add six further sites. Around 2,000 staff will transfer under Transfer of Undertakings and Protection of Employment (TUPE) to Exel's employment in the coming months and it is anticipated that by early autumn, 2003, all sites will have transferred to Exel's management.

This contract supports a wider range of activity that Exel carries out across Marks & Spencer's entire supply chain including international inbound, in-store logistics, home delivery with Exel designed systems, warehousing services for Zip and managed transport services and warehousing and value add services for Outlet Stores through Joint Retail Logistics.

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