St Michael (brand)
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|Product type||Marks & Spencer brand|
St Michael was a brand owned and used by Marks & Spencer (M&S) from 1927.
In 1875, the firm of N. Corah and Sons of Leicester had registered the St Margaret brand for their hosiery products. The name originated because their factory, which became one of the largest hosiery factories in Europe, was in the parish of St Margaret's in Leicester. In 1926 Corahs entered into an agreement to supply Marks and Spencer directly rather than through a wholesaler. This had the potential to bring them into conflict with the Wholesale Textile Association. In order to protect their other distribution channels Corahs sought to develop an alternative brand name for their goods sold through Marks and Spencer. The name agreed by Simon Marks was St Michael, possibly after his father and co-founder of Marks & Spencer, Michael Marks but also because it was clearly linked in the public mind with the St Margaret brand which had a reputation for quality.
The name was introduced in 1927 and originally applied only to products produced by Corahs but by 1950 and for the next fifty years, virtually all goods in Marks and Spencers were sold under the St Michael brand. The St Michael name was adopted as a 'quality guarantee' and appeared as the St Michael Quality Promise on the back of food products, on the side of delivery vehicles and on in-store ordering receipts.