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Amazon and M&S keep schtum on ecommerce deal

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Amazon UK has declined to comment on a report that it is to handle the ecommerce operation for high street giant Marks & Spencer.

The Evening Standard reports that Amazon UK is in the frame to run M&S online which flogs clothes, homeware and gifts. Not only would Amazon manage the site, it would also handle transactions and look after the distribition of goods.

M&S is busy trying to rebuild its status as the UK's top clothes retailer after surviving a damaging takeover approach from retailing tycoon Philip Green this summer. In July M&S lost its slot as top clothes retailer to supermarket chain ASDA.

According to the Standard, some of M&S' top dogs are concerned that handing over the retailer's ecommece operation to Amazon would be an admission of failure. However, M&S boss, Stuart Rose, remains unconcerned since he wants to concentrate on the retailer's core business.

If the tie-up does go ahead it wouldn't be the first time that Amazon UK has teamed up with a retailer. In October 2001, Amazon UK hooked up with book outfit Waterstones to run its site providing inventory, fulfilment and customer service for the ecommerce operation. The deal was extended 11 months ago although terms of the agreement were not disclosed. ®

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