Marks and Spencer plc (commonly abbreviated to M&S and colloquially known as Marks or Marks & Sparks) is a major British multinational retailer with headquarters in Paddington, London that specialises in selling clothing, beauty, home products and food products. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index; it had previously been in the FTSE 100 Index from its creation until 2019.
M&S was founded in 1884 by Michael Marks and Thomas Spencer in Leeds. M&S currently has 959 stores across the UK, including 615 that only sell food products and through its television advertising, asserts the exclusive nature and luxury of its food and beverages. It also offers an online food delivery service through a joint venture with Ocado.
In 1998, the company became the first British retailer to make a pre-tax profit of over £1 billion, although it then went into a sudden slump taking the company and its stakeholders by surprise. In November 2009, it