Customer Story

Location intelligence enhances customer knowledge, helping Marks & Spencer drive retail success

Marks & Spencer logo

15.8 million

visitors each week




stores in the United Kingdom

Understanding the customer

One of the UK’s leading retailers, Marks & Spencer, offers stylish, high quality, great value clothing and home products, and outstanding quality foods — all responsibly sourced from trusted suppliers. To compete in a dynamic market, Marks & Spencer maintains a major programme of ongoing evolution and development across its stores and product groups.

Analysts within the CIU are tasked with establishing a better understanding of Marks & Spencer customers and their relationships with stores.

Business challenge

To support this drive, the Customer Insight Unit (CIU) runs regular analysis and planning based on customer behavioural data. This analysis is used for site planning, customer mobility evaluation, and drivetime estimates, amongst others.

The analysts in the Customer Insight Unit saw a need for a sophisticated tool to help them interpret customer data for estimating store performance and acquiring a better understanding of their catchment areas and general customer shopping behaviour.

Marks & Spencer logo



Company info

  • One of the UK’s leading retailers
  • Over 75,000 employees
  • Over 15.8 million store visitors each week
  • 520 stores across the UK


MapInfo Pro


“MapInfo Pro has helped us to harness and integrate an ever-more complex set of customer data.”

Michael Whitelegge, Senior Insight Manager, Information Systems, Customer Insight Team


Having worked with map-based data for some years, the CIU analysts readily recognised how useful location intelligence tools could be in analysing relationships between the stores and the profiles of current and potential customers.

Precisely MapInfo Pro provides a comprehensive range of data, software and solutions that allow any organisation’s information to be visualised, analysed and presented geographically. MapInfo Pro software was chosen by the team because it offered greater flexibility than other map-based business intelligence tools.

For example, it allows the analysts to work with the widest range of data, including geo-demographic, lifestyle, drivetime, customer mobility, consumer research and transport infrastructure, within a user-friendly, intuitive user interface.

Additionally, within the suite of Precisely MapInfo Pro products, MapXtreme can integrate with the organisation’s statistical and database applications, enabling analysts to create new store location models without the need to re write existing models. It also facilitates the spatial display and analysis of data such as customer credit card and postcode information. Requiring little or no consultancy support, the software met key requirements of rich functionality, user-friendly interfaces and the ability to be easily customised to support the important work of the analysts.


“Precisely is very much a trusted partner of Marks & Spencer.”

Michael Whitelegge,
Senior Insight Manager, Information Systems, Customer Insight Team


Precisely has worked as a trusted partner to help Marks & Spencer to get a better understanding of its customers’ mobility and behavioural patterns with other high street retail brands. It has greatly assisted the organisation’s drive for a holistic view of its audiences, delivering the enhanced understanding of the customer, pivotal to its business success.

The company has continued to harness the capabilities of MapInfo Pro for spatial analysis that has supported store format diversification — including the launch of its highly successful Simply Food format.

MapInfo Pro

Visualize, analyze, edit, interpret, and output data — revealing relationships, patterns, and trends.

More success stories