Marks & Spencer to offer discounts to shareholders in lieu of dividends

Monday, 09 March 2015

British department store chain Marks & Spencer is set to launch a scheme this week which would allow private shareholders the option to exchange their dividends for discounts.

Shareholders will be able to exchange part or all of their dividend payment for credit on an M&S Shareholder card, which can hold up to 1,000 pounds and offers 10 percent discount in store, according to the Mail on Sunday. Roughly 190,000 private shareholders are eligible for the new scheme, with the closing date for applications said to be around mid-June.

The new move is said to be part of M&S's scheme to offer more perks to its investors, after research conducted by the department store group found that shareholders wanted the group to link shareholder benefits with shopper perks.

The scheme will be launched in partnership with share registrar Equiniti, which manages the M&S private shareholder base and is not applicable to institutional investors. "Our private investors are also some of our most loyal customers and we're continually looking at how we can best engage this important group of stakeholders," commented M&S group secretary Amanda Mellor.

"We've listened carefully to their feedback and believe that in the new Equiniti scheme, we've identified a simple mechanic that rewards their investment in the company." M&S’s shareholders previously received discount vouchers with their January dividend payment, and the group adds that these will continued to be given out.

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