M&S acquisition unlocks further export growth potential for Gist

Under its new parent, Gist has combined with M&S to create a united Food Export team, which is operationally aligned and ready to deliver.

When Marks and Spencer announced last year the acquisition of Gist Limited, the principal contract logistics provider to M&S Food, one of the main reasons was to ‘accelerate M&S’s multi-year plan to modernise its Food supply chain network to support growth’. Having restored an industry-leading position in volume growth over the past four years, developing bigger, better stores, and entering new channels, the acquisition of Gist presented M&S with a substantial opportunity to create a more efficient and effective supply chain.

M&S is one of the longest-serving retailers in Northern Ireland and has been well-established in the Republic of Ireland for a number of decades. As Business Director for Ireland, International, and Global Freight, Sean Dowling Jones (pictured), who recently transitioned from M&S, is responsible for ensuring that Gist delivers the highest quality and value export and logistics service to its customers on the island of Ireland.

Sean Dowling JonesThe acquisition has allowed what was once a disparate effort between Gist and M&S to combine into one, integrated department for the entire group, showcasing class-leading food export capabilities, particularly the movement of complex food and product of animal origin into EU markets.

Combining the expertise in navigating the implications of Brexit with a Food Export team comprising specialists from both organisations, means that Gist, under the M&S umbrella, has all the tools in place to deliver a truly premium export service, from customs clearance to European freight transport.

Gist works with a variety of different customers and partners to move goods in and out of the UK and is continuing to offer a range of freight services to new third-party customers/suppliers wanting to export to Ireland/the EU.

Sean’s remit also includes overseeing the M&S plans on maintaining service levels through the implementation of the Windsor framework, as well as Gist’s global freight team, which is actively looking for opportunities to leverage his new teams’ capabilities to improve service and cost to M&S for the movement of foods both in and out of the UK.

Gist, more than ever, is in the business of logistics. By combining the capabilities of M&S and Gist together, the future is looking, well, remarkable.