M&S have partnered with The Royal British Legion for almost 10 years, raising over £6 million for the cause. This year, to commemorate 100 years since WW1, they are saying a heartfelt Thank You to the extraordinary generation who lived through the First World War and shaped our world today. M&S are pleased to announce they have extended our Poppy Collection - sold with all the profits donated to The Royal British Legion - to mark this special centenary year.
M&S has been at the heart of local communities for over 134 years, through peace time and war time. By 1914 there were over 140 M&S Penny Bazaar shops, predominantly in the North of England, London and the South East. Like many companies, at the outset of the war, the M&S directors announced a policy of 'business as usual', at a time when few could imagine the duration or scale of the conflict that would continue until 1918. By the end of the war, almost every aspect of the business and its people had seen considerable challenges and changes.
While the war impacted the availability of consumer goods and disrupted trading routes, necessitating significant changes to their business they found new suppliers and moved away from their fixed penny price point, the most significant impact was upon their colleagues, 'the M&S family'.
Enlistment, and later conscription, saw many male employees join the armed services in a wide range of roles, serving in theatres of war around the world. With many head office and store employees, particularly store supervisors, away fighting, changes were needed to keep stores operating effectively for customers. Stores became the responsibility of Staff Manageresses, who'd previously been responsible only for female sales assistants - a new and exciting opportunity that drove forward equality.
With these challenges the need for greater welfare provisions could not go unnoticed. Caring for colleagues became a priority during the war, as the business provided financial support and care parcels for serving employees and introduced regular salary reviews and staff catering facilities for those keeping M&S stores, warehouses and offices operational during a time of much uncertainty.
M&S has been a long-term supporter of The Royal British Legion through the Poppy Appeal. In remembrance of all who lost their lives and were impacted by the First World War, M&S are proud to be partnering with The Royal British Legion's Thank You movement.
To date our customers, colleagues and the communities we serve have raised an incredible £6 million for The Royal British Legion. This year, M&S is proud to be part of the RBL's Thank You movement, paying respect to the extraordinary generation who lived through the First World War and shaped our world today."Mike Barry Director of Sustainable Business Plan A