M&S Signs Exclusivity Agreement for Kings’ Sale

Jun 03, 2002

Marks & Spencer (M&S) has signed an exclusivity agreement with the Gristede’s part of the Red Apple Group in a bid to sell its American supermarket chain, Kings, according to reports in the London Times and New York Times. The sale could fetch up to $175 million, more than the $108 million British retailer paid for the chain in 1988. M&S has been searching for a buyer for the business for 15 months after deciding to concentrate on its core market in the U.K.

If a deal with Gristede’s is not reached within three weeks, Marks & Spencer may accept offers from other interested parties. However, securing another deal might be difficult, analysts note, as several rivals in the United States have looked at the operations already, and decided against bidding.

Moderator Comment: What lessons should Gristede’s learn from Marks & Spencer’s management of Kings?

Even consumers with money want to think they are getting
a bargain now and again. The consumer’s perception of price is all that matters.
A number of consumers we know, shop Kings for produce, bakery and fresh meat.
They go to Shop Rite, Stop & Shop, A&P and Pathmark, etc., to buy items packaged
in boxes, cans, bottles and bags. The whole store needs to contribute to be
successful. [George
Anderson – Moderator

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