News Burst: Marks & Spencer links with portals, interactive TV

Retail chain is upping its online presence in a bid to refresh its stodgy image and increase sales

Troubled clothes and grocery chain Marks & Spencer is aiming to dress up its retail offering with several e-commerce and interactive TV deals.

The company, which has also recently launched a rare series of television advertisements promoting its shops, announced Wednesday it has secured distribution arrangements with two online portals, Microsoft's MSN UK and the BBC's beeb.com, and with the interactive-television offerings from Open and Telewest (quote: TWT).

M&S also said sales on its revamped Web site have "grown rapidly" and said it plans to make all its in-store products available for sale online by summer 2001.

Full story to follow.

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