Marks & Spencer is restoring its Christmas Food to Order delivery service across Ireland, having cancelled it last year due to “complex” Brexit-related checks and delays.
The upmarket retailer said it had been working in partnership with its local suppliers and operating teams to ensure customers across the UK could access its festive range.
The delivery service will be brought back to both Northern Ireland and the Republic with extra precautions to mitigate the impact of trade across the UK-EU border.
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Rising operating costs have been impacting the business, as M&S revenues increased 8.5% to £5.5 billion in the six months to 1 October, but adjusted pre-tax profits declined 24% to £205.5 million.
The retailer has also increased local sourcing within the Christmas Food to Order product range to support the golden quarter period.
“We really want the EU and UK to be more open-minded around how we have a workable solution rather than all these manual processes and bureaucracy,” M&S CEO Stuart Machin said.
Machin added that he is calling on the government to make the flow of goods speedier and more effective along the UK and Republic of Ireland border, alleviating some of the Brexit impacts on its supply chain.
“Both Northern Ireland and Ireland are important markets for M&S and we remain committed to providing a great service to our customers,” an M&S spokeswoman said.
“The challenges caused by Brexit on food movements from GB make operating in both markets very tough, but we are working hard to find short-term solutions.
“In the longer-term, we need the UK government and the EU to agree a solution that takes into account the high food safety standards in the UK, digitalises processes and removes the burdensome checks and administration on every delivery.”
The news comes as M&S has partnered with the English Football Association (FA) to bring the Lions’ Den live online series from Qatar to football fans during the 2022 World Cup.