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Marks & Spencer spreads energy tentacles with Octopus tie-up

The retailer has announced new strategic partnership with Octopus Energy.

High street giant Marks & Spencer is to reboot its energy offering as it looks to challenge Britain’s dominant gas and electricity providers.

The retailer has announced a new strategic partnership with Octopus Energy to supply households under the M&S brand from September 2018.

The launch of M&S Energy comes just a week after the high street firm split with SSE, its previous partner of nine years.

Together, we can challenge the traditional energy market and bring green energy to millions of households at a competitive and fair price Jonathan Hazeldine, M&S Energy

Customers who had M&S Energy through SSE will be offered the choice to stick with the energy giant or move over to a new Octopus tariff.

M&S said the new offering will “challenge the Big 6” – which consist of British Gas, SSE, EDF, Npower, E.On and ScottishPower – and disrupt the traditional energy market, starting with a rebuttal of “punitive tease-and-squeeze pricing policies”.

“Tease and squeeze” relates to the practice of new customers receiving cheaper rates, subsidised by longer term consumers.

Instead, M&S and Octopus said they will launch a transparent price model and a digitally focused service.

Octopus Energy, launched in 2016, has more than 200,000 customers and is backed by private equity firm Octopus Capital.

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Marks and Spencer chief executive Steve Rowe (Marks and Spencer/PA)

Jonathan Hazeldine, head of M&S Energy, said: “As we continue to transform M&S, we have chosen Octopus as a new strategic partner for M&S Energy.

“Octopus’ values of responsible and transparent pricing and digital-first customer service mirror our ambitions for the business.

“Together, we can challenge the traditional energy market and bring green energy to millions of households at a competitive and fair price.”

M&S chairman Archie Norman and chief executive Steve Rowe are currently overseeing a painful five-year turnaround plan that will see store closures and job losses as it looks to reduce its costs by £350 million.

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