The Scottish Mail on Sunday
Yes, they really do adore le BLT
THE M&S sandwich has long been a national obsession for the British. Today, the retail group’s chairman reveals that the humble lunchtime staple is also a hit in France – making the chain the most successful retailer of sandwiches in Paris. The BLT (Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato) is the top-selling type out of the dozens on offer, popular with Parisians who don’t have time for a long lunch as well as British tourists and expats looking for a reliable taste of home.
The retailer has had a chequered history of retailing in France, first pulling out altogether in 2001 before returning in 2011, only to scale back once more.
Now, through two franchise partners, the retailer has a firm foothold in the French capital and M&S Food stores are a familiar sight in busy streets and railway stations.
But that presence is under threat from strict border controls that delay or block fresh products from entering the country.
There were reports of empty shelves earlier in the year, and the situation has failed to improve, casting doubt on the retailer’s attempts to keep its relationship with France alive.