(1888–1964). Marks was the son of Michael, a Russian Jewish refugee, who began penny bazaars in Leeds market. Born in Leeds, Simon attended Manchester Grammar School
, where he formed a lifelong friendship with Israel Sieff, subsequently brother-in-law and business partner. Michael, with Thomas Spencer as partner, expanded the penny bazaars into the clothing and textile retail chain of Marks & Spencer. It was not until after the First World War
that Simon consolidated the Marks family control and with Sieff adopted policies to expand the company. They established stores with a distinctive style, emphasizing light and hygienic surroundings, value for money to customers through quality and standard of design, together with a strong policy of welfare for staff. Between the world wars, Marks & Spencer diversified into food. However clothing and textiles remained important and in 1960 the firm supplied 10 per cent of all such purchases in Britain
. In the later 1990s however increasing competition, particularly in clothing, caused difficulties and the value of M&S shares fell.
Ian John Ernest Keil