M&S is reported to be investigating the launch of a new loyalty card programme.

Reuters said the programme, which it claimed was provisionally called “Sparks”, was being lined up for a launch as soon as the autumn.

It said the card would reward both M&S food and GM customers with exclusive benefits and personalised offers, rather than being a purely transaction-based scheme.

“At our recent prelims presentation we said that being more in-touch with our customers was one of our priorities for the year ahead,” an M&S spokeswoman said. “However, we would not comment on rumour and speculation about future activity.”