M&S launches ‘Sparks Book & Shop’ ahead of increasing restrictions in England to help customers plan ahead with reserved shopping slots

M&S has completed the rollout of its ‘Sparks Book & Shop’ online reservation service to all its 566 Foodhalls & larger stores containing Food halls, meaning the service is now available UK wide for Sparks customers.

The service allows customers to use the retailer’s website to book a guaranteed slot to shop at their local M&S store – removing the need to queue when they arrive (should there be one). Start times are allocated in 30-minute intervals and on arrival, customers (one person per household) simply check-in with the friendly hosts at the entrance of their local store. The service has been trialled in 80 stores across Scotland and Wales following increased restrictions in those regions.

Helen Milford, M&S Stores Director said, “With winter ahead, we know customers are increasingly concerned about queuing, so in response, we wanted to deliver a quick, digital solution to help them shop. Designed by our in-house tech teams – Book & Shop does just that, helping Sparks customers guarantee a slot at a time that suits them and removing the need to queue should there be one. Of course, customers will always be able to visit M&S without a slot but we hope this is a small way we can help make things a little easier for our customers.”

‘Sparks Book & Shop’ allows M&S door hosts to carefully manage the number of customers in-store at any time – booking in customers with allocated slots and counting-in customers who have not reserved. M&S remains committed to limiting the number of customers in-store and is still using a counting app at every store to ensure social distancing can be maintained.

Dominic Roberts, M&S Pontardulais Store Manager (where the service was trialled) said, “We’re still all in this together and the whole Pontardulais team have been working hard to keep our customers and each other safe & well. At a time when it’s been hard to plan ahead, customers like the certainty of being able to book a slot and we’ve received great feedback about the service – especially as restrictions have increased.”

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