Marks & Spencer chairman, Sir Stuart Rose, will take centre stage at the University of Leeds on Wednesday 16th September (11.45am-1.00pm).
He is headling the first in a series of informative lectures delivered by key M&S people and Leeds academics.
The lectures celebrate a unique collaboration between the University and M&S, which has already resulted in the launch of M&S'125th birthday exhibition, 'Marks in Time', in the University's Centenary Gallery and plans to relocate the retailer's entire corporate archive to a purpose-built location at the University.
Highlighting the social and academic value of the M&S Company Archive, the lectures will cover a series of topics including the story behind M&S; its international business; marketing and Plan A and sustainability.
The inaugural lecture will provide an insight into Sir Stuart's role as CEO and how the Marks & Spencer values have shaped the past, current and future direction of the business.
The series of seven lectures, which are open to the public and free to attend, will take place at the University of Leeds between September 2009 and April 2010. Speakers include; Sir Stuart Rose, M&S chairman; Matt Stringer, M&S international director; Steven Sharp, M&S marketing director; Richard Gillies, M&S Plan A director, as well as academic experts in fashion, corporate social responsibility and economic history.
Speakers and dates of the first four lectures are:
- Sir Stuart Rose, M&S chairman - Wednesday 16th September 2009
- Matt Stringer, M&S international director - Wednesday 4th November 2009
- Steven Sharp, M&S executive director, marketing - Thursday 10th December 2009
- Richard Gillies, M&S Plan A director - Wednesday 24th February 2010
Sir Stuart Rose comments: "Our partnership with the University of Leeds plays an important role in M&S' 125 anniversary celebrations. We began our life as a market stall here in 1884 so have much to thank the city of Leeds for - this insightful series of lectures will help us demonstrate just that."
University of Leeds Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Arthur, said: "Over our 105-year history, influential figures from the worlds of the arts, medicine, science and business have lectured at the University. This forthcoming lecture series continues that tradition in great style."
The full M&S Company Archive - which contains more than 60,000 items - will eventually be housed in a purpose-built location on the University's western campus, where it will be available to staff and students for research, teaching and learning, as well as the public.
As a dynamic, living archive it will continue to function as an important internal research facility for the M&S team with an exhibitions space, conference facilities and reading room. It is scheduled to open in 2011 and 'Marks in Time' will remain open until then.
For full details of the lectures please visit http://marksintime.marksandspencer.com/. To book free tickets for Sir Stuart Rose's lecture, please contact Sarah Stephenson at the University of Leeds on 0113 343 4072 or 0113 343 3378 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Admittance will not be allowed without a ticket and places are limited.
For further information:
Please contact the University of Leeds Press Office on +44 (0)113 343 4031 or email email@example.com
Notes to Editors
- The University of Leeds is the UK's eighth biggest research powerhouse according to the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise. It is also one of the largest higher education institutions in the UK and a member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities. The University's vision is to secure a place among the world's top 50 by 2015. http://www.leeds.ac.uk/
- The archive is the latest addition to the University of Leeds' rich collection of cultural and artistic assets which includes the Stanley and Audrey Burton Art Gallery, the Library and Special Collections, Clothworkers' Centenary Concert Hall and a theatre complex, stage@leeds. The Refectory remains a perennial favourite with bands; and the University's ground-breaking partnership with Opera North is attracting plaudits.
The M&S Archive - Background
- The M&S archive has been deemed by independent experts as having the potential to be one of the UK's finest commercial archives. It includes clothing, toys, books, homeware and food packaging. It also offers an unrivalled insight into the company's corporate history as it includes an extensive collection of internal and external company documents.
- The Business Archives Council was consulted regarding M&S' archive and arranged for Peter Scott, Professor of International Business History at the University of Reading's Henley Business School, to conduct an academic evaluation.
- His report rated the archive as a collection of international importance, containing a wealth of valuable information regarding Marks & Spencer's heritage, the history of British high street fashion and food retailing.
- The archive is deemed to be of considerable value to scholars due to the economic and social importance of M&S - lending itself to a number of research projects from the evolution of the company, development of staff welfare programmes and financial performance through to the growth of the store network and the range and nature of products provided to a growing mass market.
- Historians of fashion and design will find merchandise artefacts of particular value to track the development of high street fashion. Other material lends itself to historical studies of household consumption and mass marketing through illustration of the evolving relationship between M&S and its customers, which is of considerable importance to British economic and social history.