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Marks & Spencer back in Austria from this month

Marks & Spencer is returning to Austria after the collapse of its last venture into Europe in 2001 because of poor performance.

But from November 19 the company is now opening local transactional websites in four new European territories which as well as Austria also includes Germany, Spain and Belgium.

Customers will have the opportunity to choose from more than 15,000 products sold by the British high street giant, including womenswear, lingerie, menswear, kidswear and a selection of homeware. Items paid in Euros and offered in the local language as well as English.

It marks the next part of M&S’s strategy, outlined in May, to ramp up its international footprint by launching in 10 new markets by the end of the financial year. The retailer already operates sites in France and Ireland.

M&S said it had identified Germany, Spain, Austria and Belgium as the “most popular delivery destinations”. By launching directly in those countries, the company is hoping to “grow its business and take its customer engagement in these markets to another level”.

Chief executive Marc Bolland said: “This is us moving forward with our plan to transform M&S from traditional British retailer to a leading international, multi-channel retailer.

“M&S is a brand that’s synonymous with British quality, style and value and this move enables us to extend the reach of our brand to more new markets.”

Ecommerce executive director Laura Wade-Gery added: “Since 2008 we’ve been in dialogue with the customers who already use our international delivery service and we’ve learnt much from them. With our new sites we can provide customers with what they want – a fully localised service that enables them to shop with M&S in the way they want to.”

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