Two For The Price Of One

Royal visitors help M&S celebate 125th anniversary

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TRH and Sir Stuart Rose of Marks and Spencer sample some wine during a tour of the company's Westfield store

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The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall dropped in at Marks and Spencer in Westfield on Thursday (July 9) to help the company celebrate its 125th anniversary.

M&S boss Sir Stuart Rose welcomed the couple, jokingly referring to them as a “B.O.G.O.F” - Buy One Get One Free - as he thanked them for joining him and dozens of staff from stores across the country at the Westfield branch.

"It's a great honour that you've joined us on our 125th celebration birthday," Sir Stuart told the royal couple.

"We're particularly honoured you've both joined us today. It's what we know in retail speak as a 'twofor' - two for the price of one," he said.

The Prince and his wife began their visit with a wine tasting session before being shown other produce such as Welsh lamb reared by a Prince's Trust farming collective.

The couple then separated with The Duchess being taken to the ladies' clothing department and The Prince going to the men’s. For the occasion, The Duchess was wearing a blouse and skirt from one of M&S's most successful ranges, Per Una.

"I'm so impressed by what Marks and Spencer does in so many ways. In terms of responsible marketing, in the way in which Sir Stuart Rose sets such a remarkable example in terms of corporate responsibility which really has helped to set a fantastic example," Prince Charles told the gathered members of staff.

"But also by the way you look after the suppliers and indeed the customers, but also the relationship that Marks and Spencer has established with the farmers and those who help to produce the food you sell in all the stores," he said.

In the 1880s, Marks and Spencer's goods were famously marketed under the slogan 'Don't ask the price, it's a penny' by its founder Michael Marks.

The company was started my Mr Marks, a Russian-born Polish refugee who opened a stall at Leeds Kirkgate market in 1884, expanded rapidly and was joined ten years later by Thomas Spencer who invested £300 in the firm to become a partner.

Today the business has more than 650 stores across the country and is one of Britain's best-known retailers.


July 12, 2009

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