Since SSP opened its first M&S Simply Food outlet at London’s Liverpool Street station back in 2001, the partnership hasn’t looked back. The marriage of the leading UK high street retailer Marks & Spencer with one of the world’s largest food and beverage operators has been a fruitful one for both parties.
Today, SSP is Marks & Spencer’s largest UK franchise partner. It operates an M&S Simply Food outlet at London Luton Airport, two stores at London Heathrow in Terminals 3 and 5, and two more at London Gatwick. This year SSP opened two new outlets at Oxford and London’s Liverpool Street stations, taking the total it operates across the rail sector to 33. There are now SSP-operated M&S Simply Food stores at every main London station, as well as stations in a number of other major UK towns and cities such as Edinburgh, Birmingham, Glasgow, Manchester and Liverpool. To date performance at these outlets has been strong. The unit at London Waterloo station for example is one of the busiest stores in Marks & Spencer’s UK estate.
When Marks & Spencer was asked to open a store at st George’s Hospital in London, SSP was an obvious choice of partner. Paul Horwell, UK Franchise Manager at Marks & Spencer explains: ‘SSP runs M&S Simply Food outlets to the high standards expected by M&S and its expertise in the travel sector means it’s adept at operating in competitive and testing environments. SSP has met the challenges that come in high footfall travel hubs, from operating a high volume business in a small space, to managing peaks and troughs in demand. We hope this latest venture will be as successful as previous projects.’