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Wednesday, 22 March, 2000, 15:31 GMT
M&S unveils new look
Food with the St Michael's Promise
The St Michael's logo is replaced with a promise
Retailer Marks & Spencer has unveiled the new look it hopes will help win back its place at the heart of Britain's High Streets.

The highest profile casualty of the new brand identity is the St Michael logo.

St Michael's history
Invented in the 1920s by Simon Marks.
Named after his father and M&S co-founder Michael.
By 1928 it was a registered trademark
It became synonymous with M&S and its Made in Britain label.
But like many UK manufacturing jobs, it is being axed.
Instead of the traditional logo its labels will instead sport a quality pledge - the St Michael Promise.

The 297 M&S stores will also get new looks with new staff uniforms and the trademark green carrier bags being scrapped.

The transformation is set to be completed by the autumn.

The words "Marks & Spencer" in green capitals will become a single corporate logo. M&S garments previously had some 860 different variants of the company name sewn into them.

The new M&S look
The aim is to brighten up stores
M&S marketing director Alan McWalter said: "What we are showing is a refreshed, updated look, which will give a strong, coherent and consistent identity to the great brand of Marks & Spencer, which is respected and recognised worldwide."

Marks and Spencer has seen its profits and share price plunge in the past two years, a period marked by boardroom rows and upheavels.

Mr McWalter said M&S would have a more consistent visual language, and include extending styles and shades of green carrier bag.

'Rearranging deckchairs'

But he added: "We won't change Marks & Spencers by changing a bag or the look of some packaging. First and foremost we have to say have we got our store in the right place with the right merchandise at the right time."

Marks and Spencer new bag
A lighter shade of bag...
A spokesman for the GMB Union, which has clashed with M&S over its treatment of its workers, said: "Given the way that Marks & Spencer have been treating their loyal workers, it is perhaps appropriate that they lost their saintly logo.

"However this rebranding is little more than rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic.

"Marks & Spencer must look at the fundamental problems affecting their business, in particular the damage that is being done to their long term reputation as a company that buys British and backs British."

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See also:

12 Mar 00 | Business
M&S drops St Michael
11 Jan 00 | Business
M&S: A brand new challenge
24 Jan 00 | Business
M&S goes for Belgian boss
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