Marks & Spencer Group (LON:MKS) and SSE have ended their energy partnership, the blue-chip retailer has said. The move comes amid an ongoing restructuring at M&S which recently saw the company unveil a tie-up with Microsoft to test artificial intelligence in a retail environment.
Marks & Spencer’s share price has slipped into the red in today’s session, having given up 0.78 percent to 306.60p as of 14:38 BST. The stock is underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.30 percent lower at 7,580.54 points. The group’s shares have lost a little over 10 percent of their value over the past year, as compared with about a 3.3-percent rise in the Footsie.
M&S and SSE scrap partnership
M&S and SSE announced that they had taken the decision to end their partnership after nine years, without disclosing the reason for the move. The blue-chip retailer expanded into the energy market back in 2008 with M&S Energy, which allowed customers to buy gas and electricity in stores and online.
“SSE and M&S have achieved a lot as partners, supplying 100% green energy and supporting over 70 community energy projects under the M&S Energy brand,” the companies said in the statement, adding that M&S Energy customers will continue to be supplied by SSE, with no interruption to their supply, and will be contacted about all the options available to them when the contract comes to an end in September 2018.
Analysts on blue-chip retailer
HSBC downgraded Marks & Spencer to a ‘hold’ today, lowering its price target on the shares from 400p to 300p. According to MarketBeat, the blue-chip retailer currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 313.17p.
Marks & Spencer is scheduled to hold its annual general meeting on Tuesday.